The discussion about public taps in Durrës: One of the city’s needs in the face of high temperatures

The authorities agree with the citizens and request the installation of public taps in Durrës

A discussion group was gathered in Durrës for the construction of public taps in the main squares, which highlighted the great need in the face of high summer temperatures and facing climate change. The voluntary initiative found the support of local actors who analyzed the forms of concretization of the idea.

A discussion group on the construction of public taps in the main squares of the city of Durrës was gathered on Wednesday at the initiative of the activist Leart Berisha, highlighting the needs and possible solutions for improving the situation.
The discussion table was attended by representatives of the Durrës Municipality, the municipal council, the Durrës Regional Water and Sewerage Company sh. a. (SHRUKD), Civil Society Organizations, lecturers and journalists.
The discussion focused on the needs for water in the public spaces of the city that doubles or triples the number of inhabitants during the hot summer season, as well as to coordinate the necessary support from all interested parties.
Activist Leart Berisha, a high school student from Durrës, presented his initiative and the benefits that the construction of taps brings in the most frequented areas of the city, stressing that this would significantly reduce the high costs brought to the health of the residents by the wave of of the heat.
For a few months now, the 16-year-old activist has been following his initiative to raise awareness among public opinion and local actors about the installation of taps with drinking water in public areas of the city of Durrës and the importance of this issue.
“It was sad during the month of August as you watched children and tourists trying to cool off in the dirty waters of the fountain in the center of Durrës, or at Shëtitorja Taulantia, without being able to quench the heat and thirst with drinking water,” confessed Leart Berisha.
“In different countries of Europe, but also in the Balkans, there are many public taps for the benefit of people and their health”, added the 16-year-old who is advocating for this issue through written articles, the use of social media and meetings with the community.

The participants at the table supported the initiative and brought their perspective on this important issue for public health and the city, while also giving suggestions on how the situation can change, based on the difficulties of the water supply of the coastal city.
The Director of Projects and Public Infrastructure in the Municipality of Durrës, Lorenc Facja, representative of the mayor Emiriana Sako at this table, appreciated the initiative and requested that it be formalized further through a request.
Facja said that the possibilities will be seen to build the first two public taps in a short time, in areas with high frequency of citizens and visitors, which are two points near the Train Station and the square near the Martyrs’ Mausoleum.

Meanwhile, the director of the Durrës operational unit at SHRUKD, Gerald Dautaj, appreciated the initiative and said that in Durrës there were public taps that were actually natural resources, but that today no longer work.
He emphasized that the initiative will be evaluated and in cooperation with the Durrës Municipality, all possible elements and areas for the construction of taps will be analyzed.
Dautaj stated that Durrës is awaiting the implementation of the French project that aims to supply the city with water 24 hours a day, excluding the hilly area, and public taps in some squares and public spaces may be included in this project.
For citizens and tourists, especially the most vulnerable categories, such as children, pregnant women, the chronically ill and the elderly, high temperatures also bring high costs due to the commitment of means and health teams to help them , as well as individual treatment.
Climate change, global warming and high temperatures have increased the duration of the hot season beyond the classic three months of summer, and more and more public squares need water fountains for refreshment.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of civil society organizations in Durres, from “Rotaract Club Durres”, lecturers, teachers, artists and journalists.
Participants were engaged in discussions that shed more light on the history of public taps in the city and the importance of their maintenance. They also stopped at the historical connection of the city with public taps, which once served as communication institutions, meeting places, where the community gathered to fill water and discuss various issues. Even today in Durrës they are preserved as toponyms for different neighborhoods, such as “Çezma e Ferres”, “Tri çezmat” and other areas of the city.

Gjatë takimit u diskutua konkretisht rreth mundësive teknike, planeve aktuale dhe potenciale për ndërtimin e çezmave, modelimin e tyre, nga më të thjeshtat deri tek ato që mund të kthehen edhe në vepra arti urban dhe mbi të gjitha mbi ndikimin e tyre në mjedis dhe në jetën sociale të Durrësit. 

Aktivisti Leart Berisha e ndërmori nismën këtë verë, pasi pa se shtimi i numrit të turistëve dhe të shqiptarëve të diasporës që e vizitojnë masivisht Durrësin sjell nevojën për shërbime publike cilësore, duke nxjerrë në pah mungesën e çezmave publike në sheshet qendrore dhe pasojat në shëndetin publik.

Nisma e tij vullnetare po mbështetet nga programi “Shkëndija”, i cili zbatohet nga Co-PLAN, Instituti për Zhvillimin e Habitatit, me mbështetjen e Zyrës së Marrëdhënieve me Publikun pranë Ambasadës Amerikane në Tiranë, dhe po vijon të konkretizohet edhe më shumë në shërbim të qytetarëve. 

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