OraNews: Pocem HPP, the Swiss ambassador: Residents should also be heard

In an open meeting organized by EcoAlbania in the village of Kutë, in the municipality of Mallakastër, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Albania, Mr. Christoph Graf, head of the Council of Europe office in Albania, Mr. Claus Neukirch as well as the expert on direct democracy issues, Mr. Andreas Gross, together with the Mayor, Mr. Agron Kapllanaj, were interested in the initiative undertaken by the Albanian Government for the construction of HEC-Poçem.

During the conversation with the diplomats, the citizens present spoke against the construction of the hydropower plant. According to them, its construction may cause flooding of the agricultural land they have, which is the main means of livelihood for them. “Agricultural land is the only asset with which we can feed our families” – said the residents.

“As a local government, we have never been officially notified about the construction of the Pocem HPP. What we have done so far is that we have officially conveyed the concern of the community to the central government in Tirana, but we have not yet received any response,” said the Mayor of Mallakastër, Agron Kapllanaj.

The ambassador of Switzerland calls on the government to inform and listen to the residents affected by the Pocem hydropower plant. In his speech, Ambassador Graff expressed that he was surprised by the fact that residents do not have any information about the Pocem HPP and encouraged them to use democratic means so that their voices are heard.

Chronicle published by OraNews.

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