++The residents ask for information on the project’s status ++

Gjorica, March 07, 2020. As part of the efforts to support the local communities affected by the wave of hydro-power constructions, EcoAlbania has continued its tour of meetings, this time in Bulqiza area. The  meeting with the residents of Gjorica villages and local NGOs was concentrated in the discussion regarding the plans for building a hydro-power plant in Gjorica. The project plans to take water form Zalli i Bulqizës River – a tributary to Drin i Zi River that crosses through the Gjorica village -one of the most populated villages of the Bulqiza Municipality. Residents of the area have opposed the project from the beginning by not allowing the development of public hearings.

The concessionary company “Rajfi” Ltd, which seeks to build two hydropower plants, “Cereneci” and “Gjorica” has made several attempts to conduct the public hearing with the affected residents, but resulted not successful. On July, 2018 the company has initiated Mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures and conducted 2 public hearings with the affected residents. Both of the public hearings organized by the company were turned into protests by the residents. The residents said to EcoAlbania that they refused neither to participate nor to sign the documents. “We want information on how far HPP Gjorica has gone” said one of the residents. Official information shows that the company has held a third public hearing with other residents of the area and could collect some signatures gaining their accordance to build hydro-power plants.

Olsi Nika, Executive Director of EcoAlbania, offered the organization’s support on gathering all the official information for the Gjorica HPP to help them in their battle for the protection of their river and the natural resources of the area.

Additional information:

This meeting was held in the framework of the project “Give voice to the River Protection“, which aims to share the experience of the campaign for the protection of the Vjosa, to motivate and mobilize the communities in the protection of the rivers.

The tour of meetings with the communities that are affected by hydro-power plants will continue in other areas of the country with the aim to raise awareness and support them in their battle to protect the threatened rivers.