Swiss Ambassador Ruth Huber joined German partners from KfW and the Mayor of Gjirokastër Flamur Golemi in inaugurating the works carried out under the Municipal Infrastructure Programmes III and IV. Present at the ceremony was also the KfW representative Arne Gooss and the Director of the National Agency for Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Infrastructure, Klevis Jahaj. Officials unveiled the signboard at the new regional water utility offices, cut the ribbon at the new water pumping station and visited a new water reservoir.
“I am glad to see that the water utility has stronger capacities and that Gjirokastër citizens will enjoy now a 24 hour water supply. For this UNESCO-listed city this is quite an important step and goes together with several support projects we have in sustainable tourism, strong municipalities and local finance”, said Swiss Ambassador Ruth Huber.
“It is important to see that the German financial contribution in the case of Gjirokastra has been implemented in an efficient manner and has contributed to the improvement of the living standards of citizens and to the protection of water sources in the area”, said the Head of Municipal Infrastructure Division at KfW, Arne Gooss.
“Improving water supply for citizens has been a top priority for us and this is an important step. The Municipality will continue efforts to also improve the sewerage network. I appreciate very much the good work and cooperation with the German-Swiss programme and thank them for their contribution”, said Mayor of Gjirokastër Flamur Golemi.
The civil works completed were part of the infrastructure programme with a total funding of 8.2 million Euro with the German government providing over 7 million Euro and the Swiss government providing over 1 million Euro. As a result, the management capacities of Gjirokastër utility have substantially improved, its water supply capacity expanded to include 24 hours of drinking water supply, and citizens’ satisfaction increased. Given the importance of tourism for the city, the works contribute further to creating better conditions for citizens, visitors and tourists.
The programme is the extension of previous programmes (MIP I&II) and aims to improve water supply and sewerage in the municipalities of Gjirokastra, Delvina, Lushnja, Berat, Kuçova, Kamza, Librazhd, and Prrenjas, ensuring a reliable supply with hygienically safe drinking water and enabling the utilities to cover their operative costs. This contribution to efficient use of water resources and to environmental protection aims also to improve the living, working and health conditions of the population of these Albanian cities. As part of the programme, transmission mains, water supply and sewerage networks, reservoirs as well as waste-water treatment plants are constructed or rehabilitated and household water meters are installed.
In Albania, KfW implements the German Financial Cooperation and provides grant aid and concessional loans for key investments and project-related consultancy services. The German cooperation with Albania started in 1988. Since then, the German Government has committed more than one billion EUR. The water sector is a priority area within the scope of the German Financial Cooperation with Albania, for which the German Government has committed more than 364 million EUR since 1988.
The Swiss cooperation programme in Albania includes support in the area of infrastructure services and the contribution to the municipal infrastructure programme comes from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.