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Protest against the construction of dams on Shushica river held in Brataj, Albania

While a photovoltaic park that will produce electricity directly from the sun is supposed to be built in Vlora, others are still running on already obsolete and primitive energy production methods, with dams, concrete, destruction of nature, damage to riverbeds, resulting in floods, but also droughts affecting locals' lands and cattle, especially with global warming becoming ever more threatening.

The Homeland Cultural Association of Brataj Village used the occasion of the annual festival organized on 20th August, and apart from the holiday celebrations residents protested in front of the media against the construction of a hydropower plant (HPP) in their river, which their ancestors used for centuries, as well as destruction of nature, agriculture, climate and health of the population.  Not only that, but they are also irritable because of their century-long culture that is symbolized by an 800-year-old bridge which holds the state-preserved Cultural Monument status.

According to the project, the concessionary company Shushica Hidropower will build dams on the river Shushica and water will be diverted into pipes to get the hydro power.

The company didn't take into consideration it's significance from the point of view of agriculture, livestock, natural, historical and cultural values, or ultimately of the locals as "landowners". This galvanised the residents enormously and they say they will stop the project at all costs.

From an open survey conducted through social networks by the Brataj village association, it turned out that 83% respondents were opposed to the construction of the HPPs, while the 27% who voted in favour proved not to even be village residents.

During the protest, a popular rhapsodist took the floor, according to the tradition of the area knit verse:

For what do we need a cradle
if we haven’t got the infant
the same for the bridge
if we drain the river.

Who is that hand
which has written the fate
to abandon the lands
to move Brati!

Hey people,
don’t fall asleep
but convene together
and find a way out!

Which of the two  
is more important
to built a road
or to dry up a river?

Protest organizers were also assisted by experts from the Green Vision Network for the Environmental Issues of HPPs.

27.08.2018.