On 2 April 2, 2019, Prime Minister Edi Rama, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Ms. Belinda Balluku, EU Ambassador to Albania, Mr. Luigi Soreca, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Albania, Ms. Susanne Schütz, Mr. Taulant Balla Member of Parliament and Mr. Kirk Mildner, KfW Division Chief for Municipal Infrastructure for South-east Europe and Turkey participated in the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the water supply system in the village of Rrajca. The project amounts to EUR 39.3 million and is part of the Rural Water Supply III Program, co-financed by the German Government through KfW Development Bank, the EU, Albanian Government and Municipality of Prrenjas and implemented by Albanian Development Fund (ADF).
The German Government through KfW has provided a EUR 24 million loan for investments in rural water supply infrastructure and a EUR 2 million grant for associated technical assistance measures. This is complemented by a EUR 10 million grant from the EU. Through the Western Balkan Investment framework (WBIF), the EU has provided additional EUR 750.000 for preparatory studies.
This program is one of the most serious initiatives of recent years to improve potable water supply in rural areas of Albania. Building on the previous RSWP Programs I&II, which were successfully implemented in cooperation with ADF, the intervention aims to set high standards in the construction of water schemes, sustainability of the schemes for the next 30 years, cost-efficient production of energy and low cost maintenance. By the end of the program in 2021, 18 water schemes will be constructed in 83 villages all over Albania providing access to clean and running water for over 85,000 people.
LOT I of the Rural Water Supply III Programme foresees investments in the villages of Kovanik, Bardhaj, Skënderbej, Sutaj, Rrajcë e sipërme, Rrajcë e poshtme and Bogdan, at the amount of EUR 8.6 million and will focus on the construction of two spring captures, the extension of around 23 km of transmission mains, the construction of 6 new water reservoirs, the construction of around 1600 house connections as well as around 1600 household water meters.
The EU Ambassador to Albania, Mr. Soreca declared "A few days ago, on 22 March, we celebrated the World Water Day and its slogan “Water for All” has a special resonance with today’s event, as indeed the rural water supply programme we are launching here today is just about this: bringing drinking water to all citizens in Albania". He highlighted the substantial contribution of the EU to environmental protection in Albania and the recent adopted recently for the programme "EU for a cleaner Environment – support to Wastewater Treatment.
On her part, German Ambassador Ms. Schütz emphasized that the project brings a “triple win” by improving the living conditions for the people, boosting local tourism and bringing the Albanian water infrastructure closer to EU standards.
The European Union is the largest donor in Albania, and a key donor in the water sector with more than EUR 110 million grants provided in the last decade, mainly through the EU instrument for pre-accession (IPA). About 80% of these funds have financed wastewater infrastructures to improve the sanitary conditions for the population, the environmental quality of coastal waters, and the sustainable operation and maintenance of infrastructures. The EU has delegated about 30% of this grant funding to KfW and this successful partnership will be continued in the future IPA 2018 programme "EU for a cleaner Environment – support to Wastewater Treatment". Environmental protection and particularly wastewater treatment is a priority of the EU assistance.
KfW is one of the world’s leading promotional banks. With its decades of experience, KfW is committed to improving economic, social and ecological living conditions all around the world on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal States. 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 development cooperation with Albania started in 1988. Since then, the German Government has committed more than one billion Euros and has become the most important bilateral donor country. 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 € 335 million since 1988.