Residents affected by the construction of the Poçem HPP demand a public hearing

06-07.10.2016, Çorrush, Kuta, Mallakastër. After the lack of public consultation on the construction of the Pocem hydropower plant and the authorities’ negligence to consider their demands, residents of the villages most affected by the construction of the Pocem dam are asking the government to hold public hearings in the area. According to the information that EcoAlbania was able to provide in the official way, it turns out that the public hearing for the hydropower plant of Pocem was held on February 28, 2015 in the city of Fier. “This constitutes a violation of the law on public consultation, according to which public hearings for HPP projects must be held with the community directly affected by the construction of the dam and as close as possible to the affected area. Today we are in Kuta and no resident of the area has been informed about this hearing,” said Olsi Nika, Executive Director of EcoAlbania.

The construction of this hydropower plant with a 50 m high dam, creating a reservoir of 24 km2, will flood the villages of Kutë, Çorrush, Anëbreg, Shkozë, Sevaster, as well as many other villages and will cause numerous social and environmental problems by flooding thousands of hectares of agricultural land, pastures and olive groves.

During the meeting with the residents of Kuta village. (c) B. Guri/EcoAlbania

The company or the responsible institutions did not inform them in advance about the project and therefore did not become part of the decision-making process. Therefore, EcoAlbania is undertaking a campaign of informative and awareness-raising meetings with the community affected by the construction of the Pocem HPP. Present at these meetings, the Mayor of Mallakastër, Mr. Agron Kapllanaj once again expressed his support towards the community. “I am here to protect your interests and to tell you that you are not alone. We will make all our institutional efforts so that your voice is heard by the decision-makers,” he said.

The Vjosa is an issue of intercommunal importance and a unique river for all of Europe. Therefore, undertaking these steps requires the involvement of all interested parties and in accordance with the best European standards of democracy.

Additional information:

LëvizAlbania is supporting EcoAlbania in the implementation of the “ACTIVE” project and aims to increase the active participation of the public in decision-making, for the sustainable use of natural resources.

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