Almost a year of protests against the construction of hydropower plants in Strpce ended in violence on Tuesday as Kosovo as police use pepper spray against demonstrators, including children, who pushed past police tape to protect the Lepenc River.
Kosovo Albanians and Serbs protested together against the construction of hydropower plants in Strpce on Monday, claiming that their life, agriculture and tourism will be affected by the plans if construction continues.
Mayor Mytaher Haskuka, representatives of Prizren in the Kosovo Assembly and municipality officials joined residents of the municipality on Tuesday signing a declaration promising to halt all hydropower construction in the area.
Environmental experts, including the director of the EU’s Energy Community, Janez Kopac, warn Kosovo of the dangers of its continued reliance on coal and the economic, health, and political repercussions this will have for its citizens.
Though air pollution results in more and more deaths, Kosovars continue to illegally excavate, sell, and burn coal.