Since 2016, pursuant to Decision No. 63, dated 27.01.2016 of the Council of Ministers “On the organization of operators providing drinking water supply services, collection, disposal, and treatment of waste water”, the local government units in Albania have taken full responsibility for providing water supply and sewerage services to the population in their jurisdiction area. One of the most significant changes of this reform was that the water utilities are now in charge of providing services to rural areas, which were previously administered by communes.
While the implementation of the reform has not been without challenges for water utilities and is still ongoing, there are many small but inspiring stories of how this reform has transformed the lives of remote communities.
One of these stories comes from Gramsh Water Supply Company (WSC). Prior to the intervention by the utility, the water supply in the administrative units of Skenderbegas (that includes 10 villages) varied from 1 to 4 hours a day during June-September. Besides the limited hours of supply, the customers suffered also water quality issues that were related to the intermittent supply. The Technical Branch of Gramsh WSC made a case-by-case assessment of the situation in each of the villages and based on a detailed plan and budged from its own revenues, undertook the necessary interventions that included building of distribution reservoirs and installing water meters. As a result of these investments as well as the efficient management of Gramsh WSC, these villages have now uninterrupted water supply (24/24) throughout the year.
Initially, Gramsh WSC faced pressure and scepticism from local people when installing water meters, as they believed the reason for not having continuous water supply, was a lack of water quantity. Today, the locals are grateful to Gramsh WSC for the significant change that it brought into their daily lives, enjoying the easiness and benefits of uninterrupted water supply in their homes.