The pollution and degradation of the rivers should come to a halt

The principles for sustainable management of the rivers of the Municipality of Prizren are not fully respected by the responsible institutions. As a result, the rivers of this municipality are facing pollution and degradation.

According to the reports of Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency industrial development, urbanization, intensive agriculture are just some of the factors affecting water pollution, and despite the institutional commitments, uncontrolled use of water resources and damage caused to river beds still remain one of the forms of degradation of water resources. This Agency claims that surface water quality in Kosovo continues to be affected by pollution resulting from urban and industrial water discharges, uncontrolled dumping of rivers, use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture, and damage of river beds from inert exploitation and illegal construction. In the initial overview of the quality of ecosystems published long ago in the “Annual Report on the State of the Environment in Kosovo-2017” of KEPA , it is shown that the Drini i Bardhë River (Vërmica measuring location) and the Toplluhë River (Piranë measuring location) have poor ecological status, while Lumbardhi (Vlashnje measuring location) has moderate ecological status.

Based on field monitoring by EC Ma Ndryshe, the rivers of this municipality continue to be polluted and degraded by human impact. Wastewater discharges, waste disposal, as well as uncontrolled inert use years ago, are just some of the elements that lead to the conclusion that these water resources do not have sustainable use.
Regarding this issue, EC Ma Ndryshe has requested clarification from MESP as responsible institution for the administration and management of all water resources in Kosovo, but in response has received only links to some reports published years ago, while not having a response about measures foreseen for the improvement of the condition of the river Drini i Bardhë.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Prizren, regarding the measures taken for the protection of rivers, has announced that: "Regular maintenance of Lumbardhi within the urban area of the city has been done". In non-urban areas, the Municipality cannot undertake anything, as it is under the authority of MESP”.

However, on the territory of the Municipality of Prizren a project for the construction of a collector and a sewage treatment plant is being implemented, a co-financing between German KfW, MESP and the Municipality of Prizren.
In the meantime, environmental activists and fishermen in this municipality have occasionally reacted to the pollution and degradation of rivers, demanding the implementation of adequate measures by the responsible authorities.
Given the current state of the rivers in the Municipality of Prizren, EC Ma Ndryshe recommends that the institutions implement the principles and measures for their protection in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Waters of Kosovo, and prevent from the pollution and degradation, as well as to ensure that all those who cause or allow pollution and degradation of rivers are brought to justice.