Prime Minister Edi Rama announced today that the government will soon launch an action to cut illegal drinking water connections. Comparing this “new” campaign with his action against illegal electrical connections three years ago, Prime Minister Rama declared:
As we did with electrical energy, we will do with drinking water. Massive cutting of illegal connections.
This is a situation similar to the one with energy. They steal this good which just like energy is not a good without ruler and it can no longer be the source of an unacceptable financial situation.
We give those who continue to steal water through illegal connections, without meter, to regulate their situation and in the beginning of next year we will start punishing those who think water can be stolen.
In reality, the Rama government already started its action against illegal water connections in 2016. In May 2016, former Minister of Transport Edmond Haxhinasto said during an inspection of the water supply in Qafë-Thanë that after the intervention in Prrenjas, the action would be extended across 60 other municipalities.
In June 2017, Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj already started together with the UKT the cutting of illegal water connections. 2,325 illegal connections were cut over the summer. Also the Durrës Municipality has already started.
Illegal water connections have contributed considerably to the gigantic financial deficit of the UKT, which manages to invoice only 23% of the water distributed across Tirana.