The Austrian Embassy’s support of KelKos Energy has been criticised in a letter signed by 60 civil society organisations in Kosovo, who state that the company’s illegal operations have degraded the environment and undermined the rule of law.
All ongoing construction work impacting Kosovo’s water resources has been suspended following an order from the Ministry of Economy issued on Sunday afternoon, after reports suggested that construction of hydropower plants in Lepenc river was continuing.
Construction of hydropower plants on the Lepenc River, which have been described as ‘devastating’ for the country’s water resources, has continued during the coronavirus outbreak, despite residents fear that this could help the virus spread.
Excessive and illegal quarrying has left rivers dry, degraded the landscape and left behind dangerous chasms in the ground. Those benefiting financially from the industry often include relatives of high profile political figures, while the state’s attempts to prevent illegal mining have not proved a deterrent.