From: Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Kavaja Knows Nothing about €5M EU Investment

Recently, Exit reported extensively on EU-funded project from 2011 for the “Construction of the Sewerage Systems in Vlora, Ksamil, Kavaja, and Shëngjin, Albania,” costing €14 million in total.

Our analysis of the both the tender documentation and the monthly progress reports showed that the EU Delegation in Tirana managed to select a final winner that goes bankrupt 6 months into the project, even though the tender evaluation committee already had raised questions about the financial and economic capacities of the winning conglomerate. It also showed that in the case of the project implementation in Ksamil, delay was piled upon delay. While the supervisor consistently reported to the EU Delegation in Tirana about lack of manpower and malfunctioning equipment, the EU failed to intervene and correct the matter. As a result of these combined failures, if not maladministration, the project was finished 2 years late.

A few months later, in summer 2017, the recently placed pipes in Ksamil and Saranda broke, flooding the beaches and seaside with sewerage. The municipality put the blame onto the EU, saying they were not involved in the project, while the EU claimed that the project had been finished and officially transferred to the Albanian authorities.

In the same period, the wastewater treatment plant in Kavaja was expanded by the same company, at a cost of nearly €5 million. Construction work was finished in December 2015, but in the final report of the supervisor from December 2016 it appears that the “provisional acceptance procedure” was still to be started. Although the status of the project is unknown – the European External Action Service didn’t provide any documentation concerning the handover procedures to the Albanian government – the stage seems to be set for a future blame game between the EU Delegation and the municipality.

Screenshot from 2017-09-27 09-48-58

Exit inquired at the Municipality of Kavaja whether they were aware of any reconstruction work on their sewerage network sponsored by the EU. The answer of mayor Isa Sakja was clear:

At the Municipality of Kavaja there is no documentation about the renovation of the sewerage system nor any project financed by the European Union.

In other words, not a single piece of documentation about a €5 million EU project, which has started back in 2012, is available at the Municipality of Kavaja. Did no one tell them?