MARJO BRAKAJ

Six years ago, Tirana Municipality invested over EUR 15 million for the Tirana River design and rehabilitation. The project entailed not solely the complete rehabilitation of the river, but also its transformation into a recreational space. As of today, in 2020, the Tirana Riverbed has been “taken over” by plastic and inert waste, and has become a designated wastewater discharge location.


In 2014, Tirana Municipality allocated a fund in the amount of EUR 15,368,104.42 for the Tirana River rehabilitation project.

Tirana River Rehabilitation Project, January 2014

Although the works completion deadline was 24 months, the project was considered completed over 4 years later.

Today, alongside Tirana River alone we have planted 4 thousand trees and 20 thousand bushes extending across an 8.5 kilometers path, and to all those excited for the transformation of the southern lakeshore of Tirana Lake and the sports spaces created for pedestrians, bicycles and runners, I would like to say that the best is yet to come, as Tirana River will transform into potentially among the largest recreational space for all residents of northern Tirana in quarters 4, 8 and 9 – said the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, on 6 May 2018.

However, although the initiative entailed the implementation of a number of projects, it appears that the works focused solely on resolving the flooding issue.

The persistent issue, despite numerous promises, remains unresolved. Plastic and medical waste, inert waste and the discharge of wastewater have caused the river to deteriorate into the state of a highly polluted stream.

Upstream, Tirana River is composed of three branches: Mojsiti, Selita and Zall-Bastar streams. 2.5 km from the Zall-Dajt center, the river name “changes” into “Tirana River” and remains so until it reaches Larushk village, where it joins the Tërkuza River, forming the Gjola River.