Residents protest the destruction of the Sinec canyon in southern Albania – Released
The residents of Lumas in Kuçova clashed with the police near the Sinec Canyon. They demand that work be stopped to divert water from the canyon to seven neighboring villages. The inhabitants have been demonstrating for more than 2 months.
The canyon of Sinec (Sarasel) or the so called “blue eye” of Berat is a natural resource. In December 2002, the government decided to declare it a natural monument, taking into account the diversity of its flora and fauna.
But in 2019, Edi Rama’s government repealed that decision by removing the protection of the Sinec Canyon as a “natural monument” and paving the way for its use and transformation.
Immediately after its natural moment status was removed, a project to divert the canyon’s water supply to local villages was approved. This will destroy the natural beauty of the region but also the flora and fauna that depend on it.
The water supply works are carried out by the company Salillari, which won a call for tenders worth more than ALL 354 million. (2.8 million euros).
Local media reporting that the Elbasan Agency for Protected Areas had requested the to cease, but which Salillari did not comply. The inhabitants reacted by forcibly stopping the work. The police there used tear gas to disperse them.
Some residents told the media that they were ready to go on a hunger strike to stop the work.