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Written By Maria Olteanu, Frack Free Group, Bucharest, for the book Global Resistance to fracking, coordinated by Samuel Martin-Sosa, Ecologistas in accion, Spain
Pungesti is a municipality in the Romanian NE county of Vaslui, considered as one of the poorest in Romania. It consists of 9 villages with a total population of little over 3000 inhabitants, mostly consisting of self-sufficient farmers and small scale farmers, with agricultural production focused mainly on cereals and raising cattle. Due to its relatively long distance to the next bigger city, around one hour drive, the job opportunities are rather scarce. The available jobs are mainly unskilled jobs during the agricultural season, and the youth tends to migrate to bigger cities, in search of jobs. Yet the elderly population consists mainly of self-sufficient farmers, which makes them heavily dependent on their water and their land staying clean. They have always grown their own food and, due to the relative poverty, they were kept away from the mechanisms of the consumerism and waste, leading a life mostly in harmony with the nature, like most of the Romanian countryside.
This place turned from one normal backwater village in the region of Moldova into one of the hotspots of the environmental fight, whose name became well-known throughout Romania and even abroad in 2013. (more…)