Dear President of the Parliament
Dear Members of Parliament
Dear Director of the Regional Water Company “Mitrovica”
I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome and for your patience waiting for your guests of honour.
This day is a special day: we inaugurate the new water supply scheme in Skenderaj municipality, just one week after the World Water Day. We also remember that 20 years ago brave fighters took up arms to defend their people and free their country. We are grateful to them.
As mentioned by the Mayor of Skenderaj, “Water is life”. My country is very proud to have brought water to 90% of households throughout the country starting with an access of only 47% in 1999.
This has been made possible by the hard work and perseverance of our implementing partners, the joint venture of Dorsch and CDI. Our Programme has worked closely with the Regional Water Company ‘Mitrovica’, and we are very grateful to the Director and his staff for their continued cooperation.
This project has been completed by co-funding between the Swiss Government and the Government of Kosovo, which is an important aspect of our work in this sector. I am also pleased that the municipality of Skenderaj is contributing to providing household connections to ensure that this project provides water to individual properties as soon as possible.
Switzerland is happy to accept all the acknowledgment expressed today by beneficiaries and partners for the realization of this project. The Swiss taxpayers, who are also voters who may (or not!) approve the financing of the Swiss development aid, will be delighted to know that their good money has been invested economically and efficiently. We get here good value for good money.
Said that, donors’ support can only be successful if it can rely on a robust administration, a good institutional and financial framework and a meticulous management of public resources.
The support of the donor’s community, in particular from Switzerland, is not granted forever.
In this context, allow me to make the following remarks:
It is not normal that Switzerland financed this project. There is enough money in Kosovo. The amount of this project costs 2.5% of the veteran’s budget for 2019 of which a substantial part is spent for fake veterans.
It is not normal that Kosovo has 3 times more civil servants than its neighbouring countries. 3 times more!
It is not normal that Kosovo citizen are forced to emigrate in order to feed their families. I say it because my country exported workforce until the beginning of the WW2. How did we manage to create jobs in Switzerland? By investing in education and rule of law. This is what Swiss development cooperation is trying to do also in Kosovo.
It is not normal that Kosovo can’t ensure an efficient donors’ cooperation.
Donors’ support can only be successful, if it can rely on a conducive political framework and on committed and performing government institutions that are respecting each other’s responsibilities. A still pertinent example is the respect of institutional competences. The official institutional responsibilities of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning are the water resources, while the water services are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Development.
The Boards of Directors play an important role for the proper functioning of the water supply sector. It is therefore of crucial importance that the members of these Boards are appointed following a merit-based and transparent procedure.
Challenges of the future will soon become challenges of the present – climate change being the most significant of these, and will include issues such as reducing energy usage, responding to changes in water treatment, protecting water sources and improving rural sanitation services. Some of these issues will be addressed through the Swiss Programme to support Integrated Water Resource Management, which will start shortly, but much needs to be done by the Kosovo institutions themselves.
I am delighted that the Swiss Government has been able to support the improvement of water services to the communities in Skenderaj Municipality, and look forward to our continued cooperation in the challenges that lie ahead.