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On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 the ceremony on the occasion of the completion of the construction and rehabilitation of the water supply and sewerage network took place in Fier. The construction has been co-financed by the European Union with a grant of EUR 6.2 million and by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW, with a loan of EUR 5.4 million. The Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama, the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Damian Gjiknuri, German Ambassador to Tirana Ms. Susanne Schütz, the Head of the Operations, Section for Economic Governance at the European Delegation to Tirana, Ms Olga Anghelakis, the Mayor of Fier, Mr. Armando Subashi, Director of KfW for South-east Europe and Turkey, Mr. Christoph Tiskens and other high-ranking officials all attended this important ceremony.
The project inaugurated in Fier is part of the ‘Municipal Infrastructure Program I & II’ co-financed by the EU with a total grant of EUR 20.4 million (IPA 2009, 2010 and IPF Municipal Window) and by the KfW with EUR 30 million. From the investment in Fier has directly benefited 40% of the population, or 36.000 inhabitants, enjoying now uninterrupted water supply 24 h on 7 days of the week, while around 90% of the inhabitants have improved water supply service hours, and 32,000 inhabitants benefit from the construction of the main collectors in the city. Overall, more than 80 km of water supply distribution network and 6.5 km of sewerage network have been rehabilitated, replaced or extended.
Together with the Albanian Government KfW established a performance based investment program with the objective to provide reliable and hygienically safe water supply for the population with cost covering and socially affordable tariffs as well as adequate settlement hygiene through wastewater disposal. Such an approach has been recognized by the Albanian Government as an effective tool to be utilized and is now widely adopted in the overall sector policy. As a result of this approach and the investment made by the EU and KfW, the water and sewerage utility of Fier is now able to cover nearly all its direct operational costs (from 43% before the project to 96% in 2017), a critical condition for the sustainability of this investment and of the water supply and sewerage systems in Fier.
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 cooperation with Albania started in 1989. 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 335 million EUR since 1989.
In the water sector, the European Union has been a key donor in Albania with more than EUR 110 million grant provided in the last decade, mainly through the EU instrument for pre-accession (IPA). About 80% of these funds have financed sewerage infrastructures with the aim to improve sanitary conditions for the population, environmental quality of coastal waters, and sustainable operation and maintenance of infrastructures. The EU has delegated about 30% of its grant funding to KfW for water and sewerage investments such as the one inaugurated in Fier. This successful partnership will be adopted also in the future, as new joint investments are planned for the years to come.