The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €11m ($12.2m) funding for wastewater treatment in Gjilan/Gnjilane, Kosovo.

The investment will be used for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and related sewerage network, and the revitalisation of key infrastructure in the environmental protection sector.

The project will improve wastewater management and provide affordable access to water and wastewater services to more than 90 000 people in the municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane.

EIB vice-president Dario Scannapieco said: “We are glad to support this project that will improve living standards for thousands of people in Gjilan/Gnjilane by providing a modern and affordable wastewater management system.

“On a larger-scale, it will contribute to socio-economic progress and regional connections, and improve preparedness for pandemic and emergency situations.

“Finally, we hope this financing will bring Kosovo closer to EU environmental requirements and support the transition of the Western Balkan countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

EBRD will provide €10m ($11.1m) co-financing for the project

The bank said that the project will reduce the pollution of local water and the risk of trans-border water contamination.

EIB is providing the funding under its Economic Resilience Initiative that intends to improve vital infrastructure in the Western Balkans and foster social and economic progress in the region.

Furthermore, EBRD with €10m ($11.1m) is co-financing the project, which will also receive €3.1m ($3.4m) from EU grant from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) to support the preparation and implementation.

EU Office Special Representative Kosovo/EU head Nataliya Apostolova said: “Kosovo’s lack of facilities for treating sewage, urbanization and development often result in contaminated rivers and groundwater due to discharge of sewage without treatment and disposal of solid waste into them.”

In February this year, EIB agreed to offer €120m funding for the expansion and upgrade of the Alexandria West Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) in the Arab Republic of Egypt.