Sustainability project “Show your values, throw the waste in the bins! Keeping our commune beautiful“. Award-giving ceremony for the sustainability project “Show your values, throw the waste in the bins! Keeping our commune beautiful!“
Mjedë/Vau i Dejës, May 27, 2014
May 27 marked the finalization of a very comprehensive and ambitious environmental project:“Show your values, throw the waste in the bins! Keeping our commune beautiful!“ initiated by Energji Ashta with the collaboration of the local schools in Mjedë and Vau I Dejës. Raising awareness toward waste collection and waste management have been the subjects of this initiative which has been extended over the last couple of months. Both communities living along the River Drin flow are witnessing what could be considered a “warned ecological catastrophe” due to the heavy pollution encountered in the river. In the award-giving ceremony Peter Stelzer, managing director of Energji Ashta, thanked both schools for their participation and gave out symbolic cheques worth 1000,-- Euros each that will be used for fulfilling infrastructural needs of the schools.
Energji Ashta is the last hydropower plant in the cascade of the River Drin. Built with a state of the art technology, the more than 52 MW strong hydropower plant has contributed in preventing the flow of 162.25 tons of waste floating in the River Drin and subsequently ending in the Adriatic See only for the months of January- May 2014. The waste accumulated in the trash rack machine right before the water is processed in the turbines, is composed of different items including dead animals from the nearby farms. Seizing the gravity of the situation especially considering that the contaminated water is used also for irrigating family yards and also for other domestic purposes, Energji Ashta felt the responsibility to start a project that would inform the inhabitants of the surrounding areas about the risks that could possibly affect their health.
Today Energji Ashta was happy to participate to the finalization of the project “Show your values, throw the waste in the bins! Keeping our commune beautiful!”. Very creative pupils organized exhibitions in the premises of both schools showcasing an extensive range of items created from recyclable waste, environmental themed drawings, local culinary dishes and others. Pupils, supported by their teachers, planted trees in the school front yard and set nine containers for differentiated waste collection with a capacity of 120 liters each, all provided from Energji Ashta. Other children of the schools had started from the early morning a cleaning action in the most severely from waste impacted areas of their villages. In one of the schools Energji Ashta will financially contribute to renovate one of the bathrooms of the school. HPP Ashta staff was also very happy to participate to the cleaning action and give a contribution to this important activity. Peter Stelzer, managing director of Energji Ashta said during the visit in one of the schools that “these projects are of a major importance for both the community and Energji Ashta. Our lives are highly affected from the environment we live in, and we should care for the environment as much as we care about our health. I am very proud to be here today and to have supported these very talented pupils in giving voice to their thoughts. Energji Ashta stands for the highest social and environmental standards and these are the values we want to share with our neighbors”.
During the ceremony, Peter Stelzer awarded both schools with the symbolic cheques worth 1000 Euros each that will be used for fulfilling infrastructural needs of the schools.
How it all started
This activity crowned a more extended involvement both from Energji Ashta and the respective schools. Back in November of the previous year, the company intermediated the participation of the corresponding biology teachers from each school in an environmental workshop organized from Kultur Kontakt Austria with the participation of different schools from all over the country. Back in February a biology expert was engaged from Energji Ashta to hold environmental awareness lesson in both the schools of Vau i Dejës and Mjedë. For two weeks pupils learned about health threatening wastes, waste management, recycling and other related issues. During the second phase of the project, children from both schools, based on the information acquired during the environmental lessons, started preparing environmental awareness drawings, new objects from recycled materials, have cleaned the main streets of the villages, have distributed awareness brochures among the inhabitants and carried out other creative activities. During this phase, Energji Ashta has provided all the necessary equipment and basic materials for the implementation of the activities, starting with stationeries, gardening tools, t-shirts, designing and printing brochures and others. The aim of the activity, beside environmental conservation, is also to engage children in common projects which’s benefits are shared for the same community.
This project will not only have strong social, but also positive environmental effect, as waste management is a severe problem in Albania.