For 12 years, Larisa Voloh, the mayor of Palanca, took it upon herself to solve that untenable situation. But it turned out she quickly found some allies. The governments of Ukraine and Moldova and a network of development partners began to see the real need for a new system. Now, the farmers’ daily routine is about to finally get easier.
Carried out by UNDP and funded by the European Union, a brand new border crossing is about to be built. The construction will cover 2.6 hectares and include offices for Moldovan and Ukrainian Border Police and Customs staff. It will have dedicated routes for bicycles, cars, trucks and pedestrians – reserved especially for these farmers. It will take less than ten minutes for anyone to go through.
It’s expected that the number of people who cross the border through Palanca will double to 1.2 million every year. The new infrastructure will also increase safety and reduce the possibility of corruption.
Nicolae’s feeling hopeful. “The control will happen just once, which means we will cross the border more easily with all the equipment we need,” says Nicolae.
It seems like a small change. But it’s going to be life-changing.