Prime Minister Edi Rama’s remarks at inauguration of the new Vlora wastewater treatment plant:
It is important we witness a newly built wastewater and sewage treatment plant becoming fully operational today in one of Albania’s most important cities which has greatest tourism development potential, but at the same time it’s also important for us to reflect on the fact that whole this potential was abandoned to its fate for many years.
Here we are today, but yet other heinous evidence supporting this truth is to be found just few meters away, the dump site, which will be completely transformed thanks to our efforts and following the signing of an important funding agreement which will provide for the waste disposal and treatment up to the required hygienic and environmental standards. The city of Vlora will soon heal another severe wound of the past. Of course there are a lot more to be done in Vlora and whole Albania, but it wouldn’t be bad to look back time after time and reflect on how much it has been done in so few years compared to the decades-long of oblivion and leaving things in free fall and leaving the old wounds of long transition to constantly sink into degradation.
This is a huge and very significant investment, but it is not the last in terms of the wastewater and sewage treatment and the sewage systems, because we know quite well that discharging sewage directly into the sea for decades here in Vlora is exactly what hampers the city’s entire coast and its Waterfront Promenade, Lungomare, to become a popular sandy stretch as it should be. After this investment already yielding its fruits in an exemplary manner along the entire urban stretch of Lungomare it is time to kick-start, hopefully in the next few months, a major investment designed to ultimately tackle the disposal of wastewater and sewage so that by next year the entire marine and sandy stretch of Lungomare meet the optimal environmental conditions.
Worth mentioning is that the extension of all this process of underground infrastructure transformation to Orikum area, where the wastewater treatment plant will become fully operational over the next two or three months, and together with other investments in water supply and sewage system projects we will continuously develop along the entire coastal area – I mean the entire coastline of the country from Shëngjin to Ksamil, and not just the Vlora coast – as well as further energy investments along whole coastline we will adequately meet to the growing need for more quality tourist service in all aspects and to the progressive growth of the number of tourists visiting Albania.
This is just one side of the investments in Vlora and along the country’s coastline. The other side includes important road infrastructure investments. Vlora Boulevards is finally a building site. The road has been narrowed again, but it is really worth noting that unlike what happened during the construction of the Waterfront, local residents haven’t complained at all. It indicates that Vlora residents now understand that projects should be judged once they complete and that we know well what we want and what we do to significantly transform Vlora’s infrastructure. We know what we want and what we do in Vlora Boulevard too, since by narrowing the by narrowing the road for cars and expanding the pedestrian space, the boulevard will become another reference point not only for Vlora, but whole Albania in terms of the quality urban development and in the aspect of creating quality urban spaces for the citizens.
Likewise, we are about to launch the second phase of Lungomare project which will extend to the Vlora tunnel. It is another spectacular part in urban terms which will replace the existing chaos in the area and we have already launched the due procedures for the Orikum-Llogara road, a very important infrastructure project. Meanwhile, a project is being designed in cooperation with the Municipality of Vlora on the construction of the remaining segment of Radhima-Uji i Ftohte road and its construction is set to start next year. We will also provide funding for the Orikum promenade project.
I believe the entirely transformed infrastructure doesn’t say it all and is still incomplete in terms of the significant social and economic impact on Vlora if we are not taking into account the Vlora airport, a massive investment to help the economy grow through the development of tourism and not only. We call it Vlora airport, but as the studies on the airport project show, as the data on the passenger flow show – not only data on foreign tourists, but also on Albanian citizens from the country’s south who travel to the neighbouring Greece and Italy – the airport will ensure higher passenger flow, flights to Italy and Greece at more reasonable ticket prices and faster. We know how often Vlora residents in particular travel and how many trips from and to Greece take place within a year, which will be an added value both in social and tourist number terms and will attract a new influx of investments in hotels and other businesses the perspective of a new airport opens up.
There are other investments and other projects we plan for Vlora and the coastal area, but concluding I would like to underline that the attention to environmental transformation through investments in wastewater treatment projects, waste management-related investments, and projects to transform the whole tourist area into a mirror of the cleanliness and beauty of this country is a constant attention from the very beginning and will be continuous and uninterrupted attention during our second term in office.
Thank you very much!