Albania's rivers, polluted or very polluted

2023-06-06 20:03:07, Sociale CNA

Albania's rivers, polluted or very polluted

A study by INSTAT reveals that most of Albania's rivers are extremely polluted - a problem that, according to environmental experts, has been neglected by the authorities for years and continues to be ignored.

Hundreds of tons of solid waste are found in the river mouths of Albania. Plastic and inert waste is dumped into the sea through rivers, causing alarming pollution.

But this is only the visible part.

A study conducted by INSTAT on the quality of river waters for the years 2014-2021 shows high levels of pollution in most of them as well as exceeding the values ??of ammonia and ortho-phosphates, as a result of the discharge of waste water and the use without criterion of pesticides in agriculture.

"The rivers in Albania are in a state of bad or very bad quality. This comes from a number of polluting factors, which are urban factors. Uncontrolled discharges of water from toilets, sinks, which go untreated into the rivers. The rest is what we see, from the non-treatment of urban solid waste - all plastic bags, containers. The rivers are less polluted by industry, because it is localized in small parts of the territory, always if we compare them with other rivers in the Balkans and in Europe", says Olsi Nika, Director of the organization Eco Albania.

According to the INSTAT study, the most alarming pollution is found in the stations of the Ishem river, which is classified in a bad condition of the fifth category. Ishmi is formed by the confluence of the Tirana River and the Tërkuza and Zeze streams, while the pollution ends in the sea through the delta at Cape Rodon.

After Ishmi, Semani is classified as the second most polluted river in Albania. This is because of its branch, Gjanica, where waste of oil origin and its by-products from the oil-extracting areas of Marinzë-Patos and the former Oil Refinery plant in Ballsh are poured. For almost 40 years, the waters of this river have been under the effect of continuous pollution, destroying every form of life.

According to expert Edi Tuka from the local organization "North Green Association", pollution is not limited to these two rivers.

"Everyone is dirty, but at different levels. This pollution comes from solid urban waste, but also the irresponsibility of people living near these basins. But at the same time, the role of local and central government should be emphasized, which are the competent bodies that should have the main role of protecting these basins from pollution", says Edi Tuka, representative of "North Green Association".

Albania's rivers were classified as the most polluted in Europe through a previous European Union study. However, environmental experts say that there is a lack of will to address this problem and their situation continues to be ignored.

"Most of our municipalities do not have the capacity to handle their solid and liquid waste, they do not have budgetary and human capacities. Then the will to have them is missing, because you may not have them for a year or two, but not for 30 years", says Olsi Nika, Director of the Eco Albania organization.

Experts appeal for long-term solutions with the treatment of urban waste and sewage, so that the rivers slowly recover their ecosystem and habitats./ VOA

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