Kosovo: Major developments in the regulation of water sector

Prishtinë, Nov 10, 2005 – A special signing ceremony yesterday marked a major development towards the economic regulation of the water industry in Kosovo [Kosova]. Specifically, seven Regional Water & Wastewater Companies and one Bulk Water Supply Company were granted Service Licenses for a one-year period, while six municipal Water and Wastewater companies were granted a Provisional License for a six-month period.

High-level officials present at the license signing ceremony included the Head of the UNMIK EU Pillar, Mr. Joachim Ruecker, representatives from the Kosovo [Kosova] Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP), KTA Water Division Officials, the EAR, donor organisations, SHUKOS representatives, municipal representatives, and key management from water and wastewater companies.

Mr. Afrim Lajçi, Director, Water and Waste Regulatory Office, commented in opening the ceremony: “The licensing of key players in Kosovo’s [Kosova’s] water industry is a very important development. A main objective of economic regulation includes the safeguarding of our customers’ interests – especially in the provision of ‘monopoly’ services such as water and wastewater collection. We also wanted to ensure the financial viability of these key service providers, and to uphold best practice in the provision of safe and reliable services to all customers.”

Mr. Baton Begolli, MESP, Director of the Water Department, highlighted: “We have made a huge step from an emergency phase in our history, towards the proper licensing of key utilities. We have now established institutions with clear tasks and goals. Our focus going forward is addressed towards our customers – the citizens of Kosovo [Kosova].”