Network of Environmental Services

Senior II

SENIOR II

After the Territorial Administrative Reform, the area of the municipality of Durres has expanded 4 times more, while public services, including environmental services, are not distributed equally, which affects the lives of a large part of the population. The municipality aims to provide the whole territory with services and to increase the local quality of life by applying new strategies. Regarding the management and distribution of environmental services, budgeting and planning is a key principle in this issue, as well as raising awareness and building civic capacities in recognizing environmental services and their civic importance.

The target area in Durres is the city and especially the beach area, which is overpopulated due to the tourist flow. The environmental services impact on the population is crucial. Through the project “Financing of Environmental Services after Territorial Administrative Division” implemented under the SENIOR II Program “Support to Civil Society Organizations in Albania” by the Regional Center Albania (REC) and funded by the Swedish Government, the goal is to create a model of civic sustainability engagement and a cooperation between the local government and the community with the goal to provide environmental services and adequate urban waste management.

Through the project, both on the network and the local level, a series of actions aimed at civic participation and local government action plans will be implemented, harmonized and well-coordinated with each other; so that environmental services are not only distributed equally but also provide good practices to be implemented in the everyday life of citizens. It also aims to foster an intermunicipal co-operation in the management of urban waste in the beach area as a best practice for well-managed tourism zones and as an added value to the local economy.

 


 

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ACHIEVE

The former swamp, also called “New Durres”, according to the local strategy is planned to receive investments in the industry and to promote economic development. This area has about 60,000 inhabitants and there is a significant lack of public services, infrastructure and networks that cause major environmental problems. Regarding urban waste management, there are no standards or any monitoring of the trash collection, transport and storage services. The service’s territorial coverage only includes the main roads. The local population has low degree of environmental education. Local awareness-raising policies promoting reducing, reusing, recycling and waste separation are inexistent.

Considering this situation, the ”Today for the Future” Network implemented under the program ACHIEVE – “An active civil society for a European environment”by REC Albania and funded by the European Union in Albania, the project “Monitoring, Evaluation, Awareness on Urban Waste Management in the Former Swamp – New Durrës area”.

Achievements of this project:

  1. Monitoring and mapping of public waste management services (collection, transport, storage) and making specific recommendations for local waste management plans
  2. Through various meetings and training, efforts were made to raise public awareness and civic education about urban waste management, the impact of waste on the environment, on human health, on the community life and on economic development.
  3. Increased citizen education encouraged small initiatives to get active in the waste management system through separation, recycling, reusing and re-evaluation.

“Today for the Future” Durrës also published a report based on the qualitative and quantitative data obtained from the survey of a sample of 100 residents with coverage of the entire territory of the former Swamp. At the same time, a direct monitoring data on the urban waste management services such as deposit, removal, service time and frequency, territorial coverage and quality of service was conducted.

Some of recommendations on:

Aggregation

  1. Increase investment in improving road and water infrastructure management so that landfills are not built along roads and in watercourses.
  2. Increase the number of waste containers near the inhabited areas and by that shortening the distance that a resident has to travel from the home to the nearest official landfill. Setting up a waste separation system with different containers and taking measures to ensure that containers stay locked when not in use.
  3. Increase the frequency of waste collection at landfills to avoid returning them to back to the populated areas as that would be hazardous for the lives of their residents.
  4. Organize awareness campaigns to increase citizens’ knowledge about the reduction of household waste, the importance of waste disposal at designated dumpsites and their separation. Address women as the main target groups as they are the ones that are mostly responsible for household duties as a result of their very high level of unemployment (57%) recorded in the area of the former swamp.

Transportation

  1. Modernization of urban waste disposal and treatment technology with new waste collection vehicles, automatic brooms, excavators, automatic aggregation, trucks, etc., in order to increase the quality of service, reduce the time needed for removing and treating, as well as lower maintenance costs (oils, filters, tires etc.).
  2. Formalize and integrate informal waste collector individuals and operators into the local waste management strategies.

Processing

  1. Support the construction of waste treatment facilities, as well as the realization of transportation, processing and disposal processes through public-private partnerships.
  2. Investing in incinerators for the treatment of urban and industrial waste and using it for energy production.

Destruction

  1. Prohibition of open landfills where waste is left to decompose by natural processes by time.

 

 


 

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SENIOR – A

Since 2014 “Today for the Future” is a member of the Network of Environmental Services. This network is part of the “SENIOR-A Support for Environmental Organizations of Civil Society in Albania” implemented by the Regional Center in Albania (REC) and funded by the Swedish Government. The network is made up of 6 organizations: Auleda in Vlora; Another Vision in Elbasan, Gjirokastra in Gjirokastër; I, the Woman in Pogradec, CDC “Today for the Future” in Durres and Urban Research Institute inTirana, leading the network.

In 2014, 350 questionnaires were distributed within the network to measure the satisfaction in regard to public services in cities where SENIOR – A partners are active, such as Gjirokastra, Pogradec, Elbasan, Durres and Vlora.

“Today for the Future” has the role of drafting the reports on environmental services Durres.

The survey focused mainly on waste management, access to safe drinking water and wastewater as well as the maintenance of public spaces. 70 respondents from the areas of “Ish-Këneta” and the beach were interviewed.

Some of the recommendations:

  • Invest to improve and expand the network of water supply.
  • Revise environmental intervention plans in accordance with the needs and the planned budget.
  • Improve coordination of public institutions responsible for water.
  • Frequent and clear communication with citizens about water related issues (analysis, water supply schedules, cuts, etc.).
  • More active and intense campaign of information and awareness among citizens.

Based on the reports the Network released a publication “Manual of Environmental Experience – Active Civil Society in Environmental Services in Albania”.

Because of the findings of its monitoring on public services and the analysis of sample water, the delivery of water supply and disposal of wastewater showed the necessity for a second detailed monitoring, something which the Network of Environmental Services took into account for a further analysis.

For the functional area in Durres, “Today for the Future” distributed 100 questionnaires in the area of “Ish-Këneta” as well as Porto Romano, Nishtulla, Central Durres, Maminas, Sukth, Rrashbull, Ishmi and “Katundi I Ri”. The questionnaire focused on obtaining citizens’ opinions on the quality of environmental services such as water supply, water quality, and sewage removal.

The findings of the monitoring were discussed and validated at the round table held in the Municipality of Durres with the referenced institutions and the community.

Some of the recommendations are:

  • Higher awareness of citizens for deposit sanitation, abstain from mistreating of drinking water, as well as to pay service fees to the water supplier.
  • The community needs to be proactive, to have its structures and have a lobbying group to address the problems.
  • The community should be ready to not only identify problems but also to suggest solutions.
  • Study of the water tariff as a complex social and economic issue. There is a need of public consultation on the proposed fees as well as a discussion of support opportunities for families in need.
  • Civil society must intervene to raise awareness, as well as being given information on the fees/tariffs.
  • Contracted firms should be checked whether they are licensed or not, because materials of water pipes can affect the water quality.
  • Frequent roundtables / prioritized meetings targeting the key institutions (central government, local government, NGOs, communities, etc.), and conduction of workshops with experts of the field.
  • Better and more effective coordination between the responsible authorities and the central and local government.

Based on the monitoring and validation, “Today for the Future” will undertake an analysis of the current situation on the service access, delivery of drinking water as well as wastewater disposal in the city of Durres.

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