Dr. Catherine Johnson, USAID Meets with Mr. Sokol Dervishaj, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure

In light of the significant support being provided by USAID to the Albanian Water Sector, through the Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development in Albania Project, SHUKALB had the pleasure to arrange a meeting between Mr. Sokol Dervishaj, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, the main institution that is leading the process for the establishment of a Test-Based Certification Program for the staff of water and wastewater utilities in Albania, and Dr. Catherine Johnson, Country Representative for USAID in Albania.

Since both Minister Dervishaj and Dr. Johnson are relatively new to their positions, this was their first opportunity to meet and discuss the needs of the water sector in Albania.  The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Minister on the Project, the progress made to date, and what lies ahead in the final institutionalization of the efforts of the Ministerial Working Group in that regard.

Minister Dervishaj expressed his genuine interest in the Project and his support to this joint initiative with USAID.  One of the issues discussed, towards the end of the meeting, was the financial support that the Certification Program will need for the initial phase of implementation, at least partially.  This concern was acknowledged also by Dr. Johnson, who expressed her support in helping the Government of Albania in approaching the donor agencies that are active in the water supply and sewerage sector in Albania.  In line with that purpose, it was jointly agreed with the Minister to organize a roundtable of donors in order to share and discuss the Test-Based Certification Program and the possibilities for support by the donors.