20 October 2017 : Current state of hydropower development in Valbona

This video was shot and edited on 20 October 2017, and shows not only images of the massive damage being done by the hydropower development, but highlights the message of local people.

Text of the Video in English:

  • Article 6
    National Park
    Large areas of unique national and international value, the majority area of which are natural ecosystems minimally influenced by human activity, where plants, animals and the natural and physical environment are of particular scientific and educational importance, are declared a national park.

 

  • You can’t make a hydropower without water. We don’t need to change the path of the river from its natural course. The beauty god made we need to leave alone. There is no need for other people to come and say it’s for the good of the state to do this. These are private companies, this Ulaj (Gener-2) is nothing to me. He’s working for his own interest. How many people come to the river between the Bridge of Shoshan and here? All summer it is full of people; women and children playing in our river. If they kill the river where will they play?

 

  • The people of Valbona have, for I don’t know how long, had no way to earn money. The profit from tourism is crucial here as it is from this that they can find a way to feed their children and families, to live and move forward. There’s no other way of earning money here. Whereas the Hydropowers aren’t employing anybody. Nobody from Valbona is working there, just one night watchman. Over 30 families in Valbona, and only one person is employed.
    Tourists come here for Valbona, and Valbona the way god made it.

 

  • The documentation for the development was approved as if 20 people were in favour. In fact some of these people were not alive at the time; they used falsified signatures. Actually, 95% of the inhabitants of Dragobi and the rest of the valley are against the development of Hydropower as it would completely ruin the valley. From a National Park, as declared by the government in 1996, it would be destroyed and no longer a tourism zone, but an industrial zone. Please, government: justice. Decide as fast as you can to protect Valbona valley. When you affect the river, you affect the heart of the valley. If you removed the water supply, this rare beauty cannot exist. It is not only in the interest of this community to stop the development, but also for the flora and fauna which would be lost by the removing the river. Therefore, the valley has to be protected.

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