ATA News

Government to invest 75 million Euros in Vjosa River protection

TIRANA, March 27/ATA/ The Albanian government approved today a very important loan agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on the Vjosa River. The agreement is a loan of 75 million Euros that will be invested in the entire cleaning system and wastewater treatment plants of the municipalities that are washed by the Vjosa River.

After the government meeting, Minister of Tourism and Environment Mirela Kumbaro gave a briefing to reporters saying that, “The Vjosa River is now a national park of the most special importance, the first and only of the last wild river in Europe”.

“But, we cannot have such a park if we do not deal with the entire maintenance system. It is not just the flora and fauna that we see, but the entire management of the lives of all the communities and municipalities, which are washed by the Vjosa River, starting from Përmeti, Këlcyra, Tepelena, Memaliaj, especially the most important branch which is the Drinos River, in Gjirokastra, continuing to the municipality of Selenica, where there is another important branch, which is the Shushica River”, said Kumbaro.

Kumbaro said that, “There are 480 km of river line in a protected area of 12 thousand hectares and that at present, due to all the human activity of the local residents, but also of the various businesses, the polluted water flows into the Vjosa River “.

“This investment will be managed by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the National Water and Sewerage Agency, which will be the implementing agency for about 8 municipalities”, underlined Kumbaro.

Minister Kumbaro said further that, “After ratification of the agreement in the Parliament soon, we are ready to start work on implementation of a project that will naturally take several years”.

Kumbaro emphasized that, “The good thing is that it is not just an investment in infrastructure, it is also an assistance program for the municipalities”.

“The Vjosa River should no longer be the place where garbage is thrown or dirty water is poured, but it should be the park we are proud of. And without such an investment, it cannot to be the park we want to leave as a legacy”, said Kumbaro.

The Albanian government declared the Vjosa River a National Park on March 15, 2023