New programme on water sector performance and investment launched by Germany, EU and Switzerland
A joint programme between Germany, EU and Switzerland will contribute to improving water and waste water services for half of Albania’s urban population
Prime Minister Edi Rama was in Kamëz today together with EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca, German Ambassador Peter Zingraf and Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître, to launch a new programme in support of the water sector. With an amount of EUR 125.6 million, the Water Sector Performance and Investment Programme is the largest of its kind in Albania.
PM Rama stated „This is a crucial programme for Albanian citizens to deliver water service 24/7. Special is that the investment is conditioned. You need to have the capacity to receive the investment“. The PM added that „we should think of a big water company with shareholders instead of fragmented utilities“.
“Environment and climate policies are top EU priorities for the European Commission. The “European Green Deal” unveiled last year is the “hallmark” of EU’s efforts to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050, as well as the world leader in environmental protection, circular economy and clean technologies. This programme will bring drinking water and better sanitary and environmental conditions for citizens in Albania, help Albania to get closer to the EU, by supporting alignment with EU standards and the EU acquis, all while working in partnership with Germany/ KFW, Switzerland, and Albania”, said the Head of EU Delegation Luigi Soreca.
German Ambassador Peter Zingraf expressed his satisfaction for the new programme and stated that: “The performance based investment mechanism developed together with our Albanian partners proved to be a successful approach. It ensures the sustainability of the investments. The Water Sector Performance Investment Programme in partnership with EU and Switzerland will bring this approach to a new scale for the benefit of the population of the programme cities.”
“This new programme of support will contribute to an improved performance and more investments in the water sector. We learned from almost two decades of cooperation in this sector that infrastructural investment alone is not enough: you also have to strengthen water utilities and other related institutions so that they can manage their operations and deliver services efficiently and effectively”, said Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître.
A new administration building for the Kamëz water utility was also inaugurated as a first investment by the new programme.
The new programme aims to bring systemic impact, combining service and financial performance improvement of water utilities at the local level with the strengthening of framework conditions at sector level in line with EU standards. It will work to improve infrastructure, financial performance and good governance of water utilities as well as enhance protection of environment.
New infrastructure investments in water-supply and waste water are planned for the cities of Berat, Elbasan, Fier, Kamza, Lezha, Shkodra and Vlora. Also in Lezha, the city’s resilience to floods will be increased. The programme will serve as a long-term investment mechanism for improving performance in the water sector and preparing for EU accession.
Another new feature of the programme is the holistic approach: connecting the water sector with economic, social, environmental and territorial development. Approximately 600,000 citizens in urban areas are expected to benefit from the programme.