Top Channel: Valbona, without any HEC. The government backs down, but not the protesters

The government seems to have revised its position on hydropower plants on Valbona. Now only two of them will be built, even those in accordance with nature and local culture. But for the residents themselves, who want a Valbona virgin from human intervention, this does not seem to be enough. People from art and politics are also joining their alarm.

“Two and not 11 have received the ‘green light’ due to the complete legal impossibility of making the cancellation. They have passed through the filters one after the other, to guarantee the same engineering design quality as hydropower plants of the same nature, which have been built and continue to be built in Northern Europe. We have not given the ‘green light’ to the other 9”, said Prime Minister Edi Rama.

But even this does not seem to satisfy the residents of Valbona. The American living in Valbona, Catherine Bohne, says that none of these hydropower plants should be built.

“It is good news, but it is not enough. We request that the work that is being done at this moment be stopped, at least until a detailed investigation and study is carried out. We believe that an accurate study will come out with the conclusion that none of the hydropower plants should be built”, said Catherine Bohne, resident of Valbona.

Gjergj Bojaxhi says that, beyond technical discussions, what should be taken into consideration is the fact that Valbona is a protected area and the only alpine valley, along with Thethi.

“The standard of protected areas clearly states that there can be no works of this type within protected areas. If the law is interpreted differently, then we as citizens need to know that the protected areas law is not actually protecting protected areas. And we need to bring forward the proposal to change the legislation”, said Gjergj Bojaxhi, civil society activist.

The decision to implement only two of the 11 projects has not satisfied even a group of artists, including Elina Duni and Eda Zari, who will hold a concert-protest for the protection of Valbona.

The article published by Top Channel can be found here (in Albanian).

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