Completion of the EU-funded Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment for the River Basins in Kosovo*
The recently completed EU-funded Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment for the River Basins in Kosovo will initiate a wider programme for rehabilitation and construction of flood protection infrastructure in the entire Kosovo, supported by the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The programme will focus on the investment needs and aim for a sustainable flood management.
The programme will contribute to a shift from the actual predominantly reactive approach to flood management in Kosovo, to a catchment-based approach that takes into account long-term social and economic factors, using natural processes and natural systems at the maximum, supported with the measures to be identified. This will lead to the preparation of flood hazard and risk maps as well as flood management plans, which shall include a package of measures that aim to reduce the risk of flooding and minimise the economic, environmental and social costs of flooding.
These studies will identify the most urgent investments needed for the rehabilitation of the past damages on the embankment, local roads, and other infrastructure in the river basins of Drini i Bardhë, Sitnica and Morava e Binces.
As a result of this project and its consecutive phases, the quality of life in the River Basins in Kosovo for approximately 600,000 inhabitants will be improved and the risk of floods will be significantly reduced, thus preventing serious human and material damage. The total estimated value of interventions on almost 500km of rivers in Kosovo is €24.6m. The EIB is expected to contribute €11m in loans, complementing the currently foreseen €12.9m in the EU grants through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
The study was implemented by COWI-IPF Consortium (IPF8) in close cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Environment, Regional River Basins Authority. It started on 30 July 2019 and was successfully completed at the end of 2020. It received a grant amounting to €701,072 funded by the European Union through the WBIF. The study also delivered a module for “Data Organisation, Exchange and Reporting” and a comprehensive Capacity Building Programme on the implementation of the EU Flood Directive provided to more than 50 persons.
The closing workshop took place on 19 January 2021, when the results of the project were presented to all stakeholders.
Ms Manduha Gojani, Ministry of Economy and Environment (MEE) of Kosovo: "I congratulate the tireless work of COWI Team and to all contributors of the central and local institutions in achieving the final product of the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment. I hope that soon will start the second phase consisting of preparation of flood risk and hazard maps."
Mr Sylejmon Latifi, MEE: "I would like to express gratitude to the consultants and to all Municipalities for good cooperation and collection of valuable information even during the pandemics. My desire would be to continue with other projects as well."
Ms Mimoza Veliu, National IPA Coordinator Kosovo: "I would like to thank you all from the Project Team, Ministry, municipalities for the work done, especially for the year 2020 because it was not easy to work during the pandemics. This project is very important milestone for Kosovo to be able to comply with the EU Flood Directive and to manage the flood risk which could be severe as we have seen in the past few days. We look further to cooperate with the MEE and EIB for the next phases on preparation of the flood risk and hazard maps."
More about the WBIF Activities in Kosovo
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.