Enhancing the sustainability of the water sector in Kosovo
Skat has completed the final evaluation of the GTZ Water Project in Kosovo on behalf of AGEG Consultants
In 2000, Kosovo’s domestic water supply was unreliable. Most of the equipment and installations were in a poor state of maintenance, water losses were extremely high, and the institutional capacity to manage the system was weak. Public water supply systems were suffering not so much as the result of the 1999 conflict, but more from a lack of maintenance and investments during the decade preceding the war. Following the conflict, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo embarked on a process of water sector reforms. The first of these reforms was the consolidation of the 35 municipal water companies into 7 regional water companies.
The GTZ Water Project in Kosovo started in 2000 and aimed at enhancing the operational efficiency of the Peja water utility, one of the 7 regional water utilities. The GTZ project mainly consisted of strengthening the utility’s management and technical capacity by adapting the organizational structure and providing expert support and training in various fields such as geographic information systems, preventive maintenance, water loss management, asset evaluation, customer service, and financial planning. The project further adviced on how to improve collaboration between the water utility and municipalities.
Skat conducted the final evaluation of the GTZ Water Project in Kosovo on behalf of AGEG Consultants eG. The results of the evaluation demonstrated that the support of GTZ in introducing procedures and management techniques into the utility and strengthening its capacity was invaluable. However, the lack of a clear phasing out strategy decreases the project’s sustainability. Skat suggested introducing a medium-term coaching/mentoring phase in order to allow for a gradual phasing out. Moreover, in order to contribute to water resource protection, Kosovo water institutions should be empowered to develop and implement wastewater / resource management plans as well as to establish a comprehensive legal framework. Finally, strengthening the capacity of civil society actors to engage in the sector, building up the capacity of municipalities, and promoting multi-stakeholder dialogue are essential to improve long-term sustainability.