Infrastructural investments are an important factor of the communes' economic development. A well-developed infrastructure makes the communes friendly to their inhabitants and to the natural environment and also more attractive from the point of view of investors. This is extremely important for the rural communes which are characterised by a far lower than average level of economic development. However, insufficient funds at the disposal of most local governments are a serious obstacle slowing down the development of infrastructure in non-urbanised areas. Due to this fact local governments are compelled to seek external financial assistance for the implementation of any major investment projects. Until a short time ago the principal source of assistance means needed to finance investments in the development of water supply and sewage systems was the Rural Environmental Protection and Water Economy Funds (WFOSiGW). For some years, however, the role of foreign assistance means, especially those available from the European Union, has been growing quite fast. This trend has been described in the article on the example of rural communes of the Lódzkie voivodeship, where 175 investment projects have been implemented owing to foreign assistance means. Their implementation has led to the construction of, among other things, 709 km of water supply systems, 309 km of sewage systems and 15 large sewage treatment plants.
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