30% of Albanians live in the Ishmi river basin, the most polluted river basin in the country, which is also home to the capital Tirana. Highly toxic substances and heavy metals exceed the legal EU limits many times over (e.g. 102 times more cadmium, 87 times more ammonium) and endanger the health of local residents and ecosystems. The rivers are particularly polluted by 1) cleaning agents, 2) faeces and 3) solid waste. There are no water purification plants and large amounts of solid waste are discharged into the sub rivers - and ultimately into the Adriatic Sea. Even though the complete river cleaning may take many years, the water quality can be improved relatively quickly and with manageable investments, especially in so-called 'nudges' and in constructed wetlands, through knowledge transfer and the 'harvesting of low-hanging fruit'.
The overall objective is to significantly reduce the pollution of the Ishmi rivers in order to improve the health and living conditions of the people and the protection of the ecosystems in the river basin.
To this end, the following sub-goals are to be achieved:
1. river cleaning multipliers are trained to significantly reduce detergent consumption and use more sustainable detergent alternatives and to test these first in their own households and environments and then to disseminate them in their districts.
2. a relevant proportion of hotels and test families along the Ishmi rivers become aware of the wastewater load in the river basin, reduce detergent consumption significantly or use locally adapted detergent alternatives that are significantly more health and environmentally friendly (thus reducing the wastewater load of phosphates and ammonium)
3. The main local governments in the Ishmi river basin and the Agricultural University of Tirana have application and financing knowledge for the construction of decentralised constructed wetlands and are in contact with partners for the implementation of next steps.
This project submitted by environmental engineer Lulzim Baumann via OASA, has been approved by GIZ/CIM with a sum of EUR 43,568.80 as part of its offer to support the developmental engagement of diaspora organisations. OASA's 10% own contribution is supported by the Heidehof Foundation with EUR 4356.00. In order to implement the project goals over the eight-month project period (07/2020-02/2021) completely and as desired, a further EUR 2,075 is required so that the project can be implemented as desired and planned. Therefore we will start a small fundraising campaign in the circle of friends and supporters of OASA, hoping to secure this sum through friends and supporters of OASA e.V. and to sensitize people for the topic. I invite you all to follow the Facebook page Enforce - Engineers for Cooperation and Environment (URL: https://www.facebook.com/enforcesustainability.org/), which will accompany the project for us on site and will be managed by Lulzim. We hope that the project will become a non-profit organization and that the work will continue on a voluntary basis.