Cleaning of Shushica River was one of the promises made during Gledjan Llatja’s campaign aiming to win a second term as the Mayor of Elbasan. However, the river, full of waste that causes floods, was not cleaned neither in spring after winning the elections, nor in winter when the situation becomes more problematic due to rainfall.
In May 2023, during the election campaign, the Mayor of Elbasan, Gledjan Llatja, who was running for his second term, promised to clean “Gurra” River, in Shushicë.
On April 24, 2023, during an electoral meeting, Mayor Llatja shared his plans with Shushica residents:
We also have another project which is cleaning of Shushica River, your Gurra, the Gurra of Shushicë. We know that there are problems; it has brought large amounts of waste; it hasn’t been cleaned. We want to clean it as well. It is a big project that requires support from Ministry of Agriculture. Therefore, the Member of Parliament, Desantila [Tahiraj] along with Damian [Gjiknuri] are fighting for us to create the opportunity and funds to clean the whole Gurra river.”
Faktoje decided to address a request for information to the Municipality inquiring about the status of the project for cleaning Gurra stream, which, based on Llatja’s promise, should have been completed.
|16. At what stage are the works for the cleaning and arrangement of the stream/Gurra of Shushica?
17. What does the technical procedure for cleaning and arranging consist of?
18. What are the completion deadlines?
19. What is the value of investment?
20. What is the cleaning and arrangement area? In which areas?
Questions addressed to Elbasan Municipality
The Municipality repliedhttps://faktoje.al/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/faktoje.pdf to us on October 17 and informed that Shushica river is ‘very dangerous, as, due to excessive inflows, it overflows during winter from its bed causing floods all over Shushica field.’
This is a good information; however, it did not answer our questions about the mayor’s promise.
Furthermore, the Municipality informs us that ‘the last investment was made in January 2022 by ASHP means […] and there have been no other investments.”
|Gurra River goes through Shushica village; it is a very dangerous stream, as, due to excessive inflows, it overflows during wither from its bed causing floods to the whole Shushica field. Due to its significant slope, it brings a large amount of inert material filling the river immediately.
The last investment was made in January 2022 by ASHP.
The material has been cleared and dumped into embankments, creating waste with a volume of 3250 m3.”
“900 ml has been cleared by the ASHP Enterprise using its own funds, and there have been no other investments.
Cleaning was made from the iron bridge to the area where the river overflows from its bed.
Response of Elbasan Municipality
It seems that, in February 2023, when Mayor Llatja promised Shushica residents that he would clean the river for them during spring, Gurra hadn’t been cleaned for over a year.
According to the Municipality’s response, the river has not been cleaned in the spring, as Llatja promised.
Based on this answer, there is no cleaning plan for Gurra of Shushica for this year, let alone for a ‘big project’ as promised by Llatja.
Through another request for information, Faktoje also inquired Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development about the cleaning of Shushica river because this is the institution to which Llatja said he would seek support for this project.
The answer of the Ministry about the questions on Shushica River cleaning says “you should address to Elbasan Municipality.”
So, there is no plan or project for cleaning the river on the Ministry’s radar either.
From the on-site verification at the end of October 2023, after we received responses from both institutions, we observed that the Shushica River had not been cleaned, remaining a flood risk, as the Municipality itself informed us.
Both sides of the river were filled with organic waste and inert materials.
Given these circumstances, we would categorize the promise of the Mayor of Elbasan, Gledjan Llatja, about cleaning Gurra River in Shushicë during spring, as unfulfilled.
*Faktoje, supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is monitoring 10 municipalities in the country and verifying whether promises given by Mayors have been fulfilled or not.