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The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) technical assistance for the Durrës wastewater management project was launched on 25 May in Tirana, in the presence of the main stakeholders, including the Durrës Water and Sewerage Utility, the National Agency for Water Supply and Sewerage and Waste Infrastructure, the State Agency for Strategic Programming and Assistance Coordination, and the EU Delegation in Albania, as well as representatives of the WBIF, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and Infrastructure Project Facility 11, who will implement the project.
The project aims to improve the living and coastal environmental conditions of the 350,000 inhabitants in the Durrës region. The project will achieve this aim by separation of the stormwater and sewerage network in the region, reduction of stormwater inflows in the wastewater treatment plant to maximise the wastewater volumes and the biological load of the existing wastewater treatment plant, using it to total capacity, and avoiding bypass during rain. It will improve the quality of surface and underground water bodies in the region and in the Adriatic Sea, thus positively impacting biodiversity (climate change adaptation) and tourism (economic development).
The wastewater collection networks in Durrës city are old, made of concrete pipelines which are prone to infiltration, lacking proper sloping and often becoming subject to blockages. Most of the sewage collection systems are combined, and collect wastewater together with rainwater. Substantial volumes of wastewater flow to the sea result due to poor connection, wastewater infiltration, and overflows during dry and rainy weather.
Through the WBIF, the European Union has provided a technical assistance grant of €500,000. The estimated total investment cost of the Durrës Wastewater Management Project is around €40 million and is planned to be financed through an AFD loan and local sources.
Photo credits: WBIF
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