Lipjan: A municipality of contaminated waters

Will the future mayor of Lipjan address the residents’ grievances?

In the population assessment conducted in 2012, the municipality of Lipjan has 58 thousand residents and a budget of 13.1 million euros.

Almost half of the neighborhoods in Lipjan do not have a water supply system at all: 29 neighborhoods out of the 62 do not have a water supply system.

The team, after conducting research in the field, has noted that the villages that are linked to the water supply system, such as the villages of Magura and Janjeva, experience severe water cuts.

The villages that do not have a water supply system at all include: Toplican, Gracka e Vgel, Kraishta, Zllakuqani, Krojmiri, and Rusinovci.

The lack of water is one of the many struggles the future mayor will be asked to address after the upcoming local elections, for which there are five candidates running for mayor.

Out of these five men, three already have political positions in this municipality. No women are running for mayor of Lipjan. In the population assessment, conducted in 2012, Lipjan has 58 thousand residents and a budget of 13.1 million euros.

Lipjan also has problems with the sewage systems. Fourteen neighborhoods do not have a sewage system. The remaining areas, 48 villages, have a sewage system, but the sewage ends up in the Sitnica River. The field investigation conducted by shows that the condition of rivers in the Municipality of Lipjan is dire: waste is being thrown into the waters, the surface waters are dirty, sewage pours into the rivers.

The citizens have reported to that in Lipjan’s Janjevka River, near the Ulpiana High School, the city sewage system passes through and the residents of that neighborhood cannot stay in their houses due to the terrible odor.

According to GAP Institute, despite the fact that during this mandate, the municipality built two collectors for the treatment of sewage (collector 1: the treatment of sewage systems in the villages of Kraishta, Ribar i Madh, Ribar i Vogel, Poturovc, Torina, Dobraje e Madhe, and the main collector in Lluga, with a length of 6,600 meters; and collector 2: the treatment of sewage systems in villages Bujari, with the overall collector for sewage systems of Smallusha, Qollapek, Marec, Gllavice, Llugaxhi and Kojska, with a length of 8,000 meters), because there is a lack of sewage treatment/collection plants, the sewage is pouted in the the Sitnica River.

Lipjan also has issues with illegal waste disposals. Our team has shown that the rivers are contaminated, especially because of the waste that is thrown into the waters by the citizens themselves. In the village of Gadime, despite the fact that protective walls for the river have been built, there is still a presence of waste. One part of the river is completely covered by grass, while the other is covered in waste.

Whereas in the Sitnica River, protective walls for the river have been built. According to the GAP Institute, the municipality and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning have signed an agreement for cooperation on financing the project for building the surface of Sitnica River for the amount of 170,000 euros.


The Municipality of Lipjan, despite the investments in schools, continues to have problems in the education sector. The team has found that in the school Ibrahim Krasniqi school, located in village of Smallusha, students must use the bathrooms outside the buildings, because the bathrooms inside the school building do not have sufficient water to be kept cleaned.

Also, life in the village New Topliqan, the Vellezerit Frasheri Elementary School, where children attend classes from preschool to fifth grade, is a very poor condition. The school’s bathrooms are basically destroyed, and the school does not have a sports hall.

According to data from the Municipality of Lipjan, “8 schools have sports halls, while the majority of schools have open sport spaces.”

Lipjan has only one kindergarden, and no kindergardens have been built during the past four years, not even the multi-ethnic kindergarten, which was an agreement of cooperation with the organization “Rrugetimi” under UNICEF.


In New Topliqan, apart from the problem with the school building, there are also problems with asphalt. The Muse Meta Street is completely unpaved, which causes the road to become muddy. Also in this village, on Rexhep Stublla Street, which leads to the Vellezerit Frasheri Elementary School, the road is unpaved.

The municipality of Lipjan has mainly invested in infrastructure, but what is noticeable is that villages such as Kraishtë, Ribar, Smallushë and Magurë have only partial sidewalks and public lighting. The general audit has given a remark that the Municipality of Lipjan has given a tender worth 28 thousand euros without having a project for building sidewalks in the village Llugaxhi.

Apart from these problems, Lipjan faces also damages to asphalt in the village of New Rifc, where there are cracks on the roads and some potholes.


Lipjan does have gynecologists, but there is a lack of citizen trust in the institution. There are two gynecologists-obstetricians to help mothers give birth to their children. However, in the period January-September, in the maternity department of the center for medicine in Lipjan, according to the director of the main center for family medicine, Agim Krasniqi, there were only 5 births. In the same period, there were 134 cases which included removal of stiches of mothers who gave birth outside of the main family centers in Lipjan. Hence, the number of births given can be even bigger, but the citizens do not believe that there are proper conditions to give birth in the main center for family medicine of Lipjan

The director himself admits that in order to increase the number of births given in this center, a complete team is needed.

“In order to increase the number of births given, we must have a complete team which would include at least two anesthesiologists and gynecologists, as well as serviced for warm meals for maternity. These are conditions offered at the secondary care (hospitals), so it escalates the concept of primary care, respectively the concept of family medicine,” Krasniqi said.

Our investigation shows that also the dentistry building is in a bad condition, and often lacks dentistry supplies.

While the emergency clinic, which was built recently in the village Smallusha, is functionalized, there is no doctor or equipment.

the municipality officials themselves have admitted that there are complaints that main centers of family medicines, centers of family medicines, and other centers of medicine are out of basic supplies.

“Supply from the Ministry of Health with medications and supplies from the essential medicine list is up to 50 per cent, and around 25 per cent is filled from the revenues of the municipality for basic supplies, labs, and dentistry supplies, which is entirely covered by the municipal budget. However, the fulfillment of citizens needs remain difficult to be finished,” the municipality said in a statement.

Also, Lipjan has trouble with money surplus which it has not been able to spend within the year. The audit says that a cumulative surplus worth 757 thousand euros from its own source entries since year 2016 and earlier has been transferred to the year 2017.

“The financial statements of funds, compared to other categories, reveals that there is a lower level of budget spending when it comes to capital investments (86 per cent). This is because of the failures to finish implementing capital projects in accordance with dynamic plans,” stated the audit report for financial statements of Lipjan in 2016.

The own source entries of Lipjan completed during 2016 totaled 1.1 million euros. If the transferred revenues from the previous years are taken into account, according to the audit, Lipjan collected 1.6 million euros in 2016.

The GAP Institute says that Lipjan has the biggest number of economic zones. The municipality has these announced economic zones: the Economic Industrial Zone- QMI with a surface of 87 acres, the Economic Zone “Industrial Park” in Kerqeva with a surface of 139 acres, the Mixed Zone with 120 acres, and the Airport Zone (ZE – A), with 190 acres.


Millionaire mayoral candidates race for Viti

Will the next Mayor of Viti manage to solve its problems?

Four men are vying for the position of mayor of the Municipality of Viti.

The three candidates running against current mayor Sokol Haliti are millionaires. The candidate from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, Nura, is a businessman.  A slightly less wealthy candidate is Besim Halimi from the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, who claims that his wealth exceeds millions.

Salih Salihu, from Vetevendosje, has real estate worth 2.2 million euros and is also running.

In the meantime, the current mayor, Sokol Haliti, for this year, declared inheritance from his father worth of 125 thousand euros, house worth 70 thousand euros, and about 33 thousand euros cash in the bank.

Although Viti, inhabited by around 47 thousand people, has a department of gynecology, women in this municipality give birth in other cities, considering that is impossible within the municipality of Viti.’s research reveals that Viti has enourmous problems with illegal landfills, drinking water and sewage. The education system is not good either. The municipality of Viti has only one public kindergarten, and only one physical education hall.

The municipality of Viti has a budget of about 10 million euros per year.


The GAP Institute states that Viti has issues in providing healthcare. According to GAP’s data, a doctor in Viti serves 308 residents, unlike the average of other municipalities, where a doctor serves 288 residents.

Apart from insufficient staff, Viti also does not have enough space to take care after those in need.’s investigation shows that those who must be on dialysis have to travel to Gjilan or Ferizaj in order to receive hemodialysis services, considering there is no department dealing with the treatment of these persons.

Although there is a gynecology department in Viti, there are no births taking place there, only check-ups.

Women of Viti must travel more than 21 kilometers to the Gjilan’s hospital or that of Ferizaj in order to give birth.

On the other hand, the Pozhoran village has more than four thousand residents; there are health centers that were built during the current mandate, but there is no dentist. The residents of this village told that they are in need of a team of dentists. Even though the municipality has not provided the health centers with any dentists, three private clinics are currently functioning in this village.

Sports and culture

For the first time in Viti’s history, a football club has managed to play in the local football superleauge. Pozhoran’s KF Vllaznia is playing this year  in the Kosovo football elite; however, the matches are not taking place at its stadium. This is due to the poor infrastructure of the stadium. KF Vllaznia is forced to play matches at the stadium of Gjilan, and Viti’s residents are not able to watch their home team matches.

NSERT PHOTO 1 – Pozheran Stadium

In addition to not being able to watch the KF Vllaznia matches at their own stadium, Viti residents are also not able to attend theater events, since the Municipality lacks a theater. Viti was a grantee for a 3D cinema donation, but it has not been functionalized.


Viti also has an Olympic sports player. Last year, Urata Rama was one of the eight Olympians who presented Kosovo at the Olympics in Rio, Brazil. However, Urata lacked institutional support. In 2016, the municipality provided her with an amount of 959 euros in subsidies during her stay in Rio, which translates into about 80 euros per day.

Illegal waste landfills

Although the center of the city creates the impression of a completely clean municipality with no landfills, this, this changes when one visits other areas across the city. has found that there are over 20 illegal landfills in the Municipality of Viti. This was also admitted by the municipal officials themselves.

According to municipal officials, they have gotten rid of some illegal landfills, but they haven’t managed to completely eradicate them yet.


Only one school in Viti has a physical education hall. Other schools own sporting structures, however, it is impossible to provide physical education classes during the winter season and rainy weather within these structures.

The General Auditor has stated that although the Municipality of Viti has allocated student scholarship funds, it has decided not to allocate the money to the students, but to keep them for itself instead. found that the scholarships planned for the academic year 2016/2017 were only distributed in July 2017. Therefore, 135 students were granted their scholarships late. According to the municipal officials, the scholarships were provided within the academic year; however, the students already finished their exams in June.

There is only one public kindergarten and one other private kindergarten in the municipality of Viti. According to municipal officials, they have the space for kindergarten buildings, considering that they may use a part of a school for it, but they also state that they lack funds to pay the staff.


Sewage and water supply

The Municipality of Viti has also issues with drinking water and sewage. The inhabitants of the villages of Sllatinë e Epërme and Lower, Trestenik, Sadovinë e Çerfeldit and Sadovinë of Jerlive are not yet connected to the water supply network, although the municipality states that it has invested in the water supply system. Four other villages in the municipality, Goshica, Gërmova, Vërbani and Smira, are not connected to the water supply network either.’s investigation shows that in other villages of the municipality, there are problems with water supply systems, which are not managed by Hidromorava. According to the data provided, areas that remain connected to water supply, and are not managed by any company are: Letnicë, Shashare, Skifteraj, Begunce, Kabash, Binqe, Shusht, Terpeze, Budrike and Zhiti.
The village of Tërpezë is already contracted but there is no sewerage network; in the village of Begunce, Ramnishtë and in the eastern part of Viti, the sewage network is only 50 per cent completed. Villages that do not have septic tanks, and consequently, have issues with sewage are Devaja, New Village, Upper Budrika, Goshica, Verbani, Sodovina and Ceret, Tresteniku, Lubishte and Kabashi.

BIRN Kosovo and Internews Kosova’s Complaints Once Again Result in Fines for Political Entities

On October 17, 2017, Kosovo’s Elections Complaints and Appeals Panel, ECAP, delivered fines worth a total of 18 thousand euros to four political entities as a result of BIRN Kosovo and Internews Kosova’s written complaints regarding alleged violations of the Law on Elections during the local election campaign.

As a result of the panel’s decision, the new Kosovo political party Alternativa has received a fine for 1,200 euros; The Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, has received two fines adding up to 6,300 euros (one fine for 3,100 euros, and the other for 3,200 euros); The Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, received three fines worth 7,500 euros (one fine for 2,000 euros, another for 2,500, and another for 3,000 euros); and finally, The New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, was fined 3,000 euros.

This decision follows several previous decisions by ECAP to reprimand political parties for violating Kosovo’s Law on Elections following complaints from BIRN Kosovo and Internews Kosova. will report on each decision individually in the coming days

Life in Podujeva, with a Dream for Water

What do the citizens of Podujeva expect from their future mayor?


The future mayor of Podujeva will struggle to solve the problems with water, sewage systems, waste, public transport, education and street infrastructure with only five million euros.

The investigation into municipal issues, which lasted several months in the villages and the city of Podujeva, identified a range of problems that await solutions from the municipal government.

There are two waste collection companies in the municipality of Podujeva. However, the municipality still has serious problems with illegal waste disposals.

There are illegal waste disposals within the city, also located on school grounds.

Data shows that the former local government built around 25 kilometers of sewage systems. However, the system is not spread around all inhabited areas.

The investigation shows that all sewage systems of the city and of the 41 villages end up contaminating the flow of the Llap River, which was used by farmers to water their cultivations for a long time.

The Batllava Lake, which is one of the main basins from which Prishtina and a few other municipalities receive water supply, is located in the region of Podujeva. However, Podujeva is discriminated in terms of being supplied with water. The lack of drinkable water, especially during summer, is considered a huge problem in Podujeva. Fitorja and Dumnica e Poshtme Streets, despite the fact that they are linked to the water supply system, still do not receive water. Villages such as Zakuti, Doberdoli, Kerpimehi and Revuq are not even linked to the water supply system.

The audit stated that the water supply project “Vrella” has not been finished since 2009. The citizens have contributed by 71 thousand euros for this project, but it hasn’t been functionalized yet. The begun project in 2009, costing 331,336 euros, co-financed by the citizens with 71,600 euros.

Infrastructure and urbanization

The investigation shows that Podujeva has problems with infrastructure, urbanization, illegal constructions and municipal property usurpations.

During the investigation, was evident that the villages of Lupç, Shajkoc, Sveçël, Balloc, Metergoc, Ballaban, Kushevicë have problems with streets.

Within the municipal governance, Podujeva has problems with municipal property usurpations. has asked for the usurpers list and the list of illegal constructions. However, no such list was received with the excuse that it is “being updated”.

According to the audit report, the Municipality of Podujeva has not verified 1/3 of the real estate, as required by the Law on Taxation of Real Estate no. 03/L-204 and the Administrative Order no. 03/2011 for the Collection and Registration of Information on the Property and Tax-Payers. For this reason, the Municipality of Podujeva has failed to collect the debts from offering these properties for use.

Health and social welfare

There are 21 clinics built for the 78 villages of the municipality and for the city. Two of them are located in the city, and 19 are located in villages. Only two clinics work 24/7, whereas the others work only on one shift.

Podujeva has in total 19 clinics in the following villages: Majac, Bradash, Shajkoc, Herticë, Dobratin, Llapashticë, Lupç, Lluzhan, Orllan, Batllavë, Dyz, Halabak, Sveçël, Shajkovc, Gllamink, Dumnicë, Kërpimeh, Murgull and Bajçinë.

The Main Center for Family Medicine, after being governed by an acting head for six years, has been assigned a director only recently. The Emergency Center does not fulfill the requirements and the expectations of citizens. The majority of health labs of this municipality are out of function.

Budget, money management and usurped propertied

According to the genera audit, the business debt toward the municipality is up to 3.6 million euros. Recently, apart from the fact that the municipality has not collected the multi-million-euro debt, it has decided to decrease different municipal taxes by 50 per cent.

The audit says that the capital investments budget was spent by 85 per cent, while the spending of own source entries was only 59 per cent.

Podujeva has a budget of 19 million euros, out of which five million are allocated for capital investments. The municipality of Podujeva has collected 230 thousand euros less than it had planned for year 2016.

For the years 2015 and 2016, the audit found that the municipality of Podujeva has problems with collecting debts for the properties it has let on rent.

The directorate of property, cadaster, and geodesy has had stagnations in drafting contracts for the properties it has given for rent, since most of the liabilities according to the contracts have not been fulfilled by users, the report states. Apart from this, the municipality has not registered 1/3 of its properties, and as a consequence, it does not manage to collect the revenues from taxes and rents.

The Stagnated Development of Drenas

Will the future mayor of Drenas manage to solve its many problems?

The future mayor of Drenas, a municipality famous for its metal processing, will have to confront many challenges, from illegal constructions to the health care sector.

The municipality, located in the center of Kosovo, has 73 thousand inhabitants. Currently, Drenas is dealing with an emergency clinic that has been turned into a disposal for animal food, 14,081 illegal constructions, and damages to water sources and the environment.

BIRN Kosovo’s mayoral debate series #DebatPernime (#RealDebates) tackled this issue and others during’s investigative research and the subsequent municipal debate.

The data shows that the governance of Drenas has managed to collect 1.1 million euros of revenues, in comparison to Suhareka, a municipality of similar size, which collected 1.9 million euros. The central governance of Drenas has built an industrial park which has potential for the development of the municipality. A challenge for the upcoming mayor will be the treatment of sewage systems deriving from of the park. Sewage from this park ends up in Korretica, which leads to environment contamination.

The other generator of jobs in Drenas, the processing of Ferronickel, in the past two years has faced problems due to the decrease of the price of nickel in the stock market. The current government has decided to exempt the company from municipal taxes in order to make the continuance of work possible. After the local elections, the debate as to whether these taxes will proceed will continue, along with the expectation that the increase of investments and subsidies in agriculture will occur.

Illegal constructions and infrastructure

The mayor of Drenas will have to address the challenge of illegal acts in the construction business.’s research shows that Drenas has 14,081 illegal constructions and six constructions that exceeded the high limit n the existing apartments of the city.

The control of these buildings will be able to bring thousands of euros of revenues to the municipality.

When it comes to infrastructure, Drenas has a huge problem with parking lots, because the space near the bus station that is used for parking floods when it rains.

The residents of the villages of Dobroshevc, Bainca, Gllanasella, and Abri struggle with a lack of sidewalks. This is especially frightening because children have to walk on the streets on their way to school.

The traffic at the entrance and exit of the city and the dangerous railway remain a challenge in the city’s infrastructure. Several deaths have been recorded due to this insecurity.

The problems with infrastructure extend further when it comes to the water supply and sewage system.

Only 35.7 per cent of the residents have access to drinkable water, while 27 residencies do not have access to the public water supply system at all.’s investigation revealed that Drenas has 31 schools and one kindergarten. 29 of the schools work in two shifts. A challenge for the new mayor will be to double the space for schools in order to allow schools work in one regular shift.

Health and social welfare

The municipality has still not finished building a new health clinic in the village Negrovc or dividing parcels of land for the families of war veterans. Three mandates ago, the municipal government promised to build the veteran’s street by dividing land banks and promising the development of infrastructure on this street. The project continues to remain on paper, serving as a promise to win votes.

The investigation also shows that there are 73 thousand inhabitants who are not provided with services such as mammography and ultrasounds.

The images of the center of family medicine show that there is lack of equipment, while the beds are too old and the bathrooms are not clean.

The mayor will also be expected to functionalize the center of family medicine in the village of Negrovc. The constructions began four years ago, and the building cost the municipality 45 thousand euros. It was built on the property of a resident who was promised that his property would be compensated. After the failure of negotiations, the property owner stopped the work, while the building, which was an investment of the municipality, is now used as a disposal for animal food products

Flooding and poor preservation of musical heritage in Gjakova

What challenges will the next mayor of Gjakova face?

The Municipality of Gjakova once had 26 factories, which today have become supermarkets or warehouses. Gjakova was once an economic powerhouse in Kosovo and today has major problems with economic development. But the problems do not stop there.

The citizens of Gjakova have problem with illegal waste disposals and the contamination of beautiful rivers in the municipality. Meanwhile, construction of the new biomass central heating has not started yet, despite the noises that were caused years ago.

Gjakova’s airport is out of function, while the industrial park to develop the free economic zone is absent. The Municipality of Gjakova also has a serious problem with parking lots and sidewalks.

The environment

Gjakova has poor waste management. There is an absence of waste containers, and garbage is present in almost every area of the city.

A big portion of the area of “Çarshia e Vjeter” and of the city does not have enough containers. Also, in the “Shkugza” zone, there are illegal waste disposals. In the “Rezina” street, the excrements pass through houses, whereas in the Krena River, which passes through the city, waste and water irrigation are poured continuously.

Residents of Brekoc Street have a different concern. Since 2005, they’ve faced flooding. The houses in this area, located on Patriot Berisha and Hajdar Salihu Streets, are flooded after heavy rain, causing considerable material damages to housing equipment, inventories, and nutrition.

Economics and finances

Gjakova finished 2016 with a budget of 19.4 euros. It has planned capital investments in 2016 worth 5 million and 74 thousand euros. However, it had managed to spend only 3.7 million euros, or 73 per cent of the planned budget. Also, the audit had stated that in 2016, the real annual expenses for capital investments were only 2.4 million euros because Gjakova was obliged to pay 918 euros of accumulated debts from the previous years.

The airport of Gjakova has turned into a public enterprise after it was transferred from the KFOR Italian command. Yet this airport has not been launched for use, and it brings a risk of theft millions of euros in equipment within it, because for a long time, there was not even a guard. Not only did this public enterprise fail to serve as a catalyst for country’s economic development, but it has become a barrier of Kosovo institutions to maintain its assets which are worth around 8 million euros.

The heating system for Gjakova was promised to be finished within this mandate, but the problems appeared in finding a location and the refusal of the government to give the property.

Culture and sports

Gjakova has the Music Museum in Çarshia e Vjeter. However, today it is in a miserable condition. investigative reporters have found that this museum, the only one in Kosovo of its kind, is destroyed and is not being maintained.

The stadium on Dardania Street, which was used for decades by the entire neighborhood, is now privatized and the area has been left without a stadium, while the football club Dardanet, which used to play its matches there, is running for the Second Kosovo League. The residents have signed a petition, but a solution has not been found.

Sidewalks and parking lots

Gjakova has absence of parking lots and as a consequence, the cars park on the sidewalks. The parked cars disturb the free move of pedestrians and compromise their safety.

Little has been invested in Gjakova from the central level regarding infrastructure. Gjakova has also been left behind with the expanding of entrances and exits of the city, whereas the connection of two highways to Prishtina and Prizren has not been done yet.

The Kramovik Bridge connects Klina and Gjakova and is used as the main destination to enter Gjakova from the direction of Peja and Prishtina as well. The bridge was damaged in the summer of 2013 from rain and floods. The bridge has had a few interventions to be fixed, but it is still dangerous.


The municipality of palm trees and waste

Known for its history and national renaissance in the 19th century, Kaçanik now suffers from environmental degradation.

The riverside downtown area has become an attraction for many residents of the municipality. Palm trees were planted in this cold environment, which today are dried up; furthermore, the downtown area has problems with waste landfills, sewage, and infrastructure.

The two rivers of the municipality, Nerodime and Lepenc, are polluted by sewage, destroying its living beings.

The villages of Kaçanik si Doganaj, Elezaj, Koxhaj, Duraj – Gabrricë, Bajnicë, and Gërlicë e Epërme still have issues with the irrigation system, while the touristic village of Shtrazë continues to function with no water system.

In the villages of Stagovë, Provoli and Dubravë, the citizens have self-financed the construction of the irrigation system.

The investigative research team has found that the city lack trash bins, and the trash, as such, is thrown about.

Although the municipality has allocated around 10 thousand euros for setting up informational tables to raise awareness about illegal waste disposal, the research team has identified some places close to these tables loaded with waste. has identified 35 waste landfills across the municipality of Kaçanik, 17 of which were removed from the municipality, while 18 continue to be filled with waste.

The research shows that in places where rivers are polluted by sewage, citizens have serious issues with drinking water supply.

The data collected by the municipality itself, show that 41 per cent of Kaçanik’s residents have water supply issues, considering that the municipality has not provided a connection with a water supplier.

Villages such as Gajre, Gjurgjedell, Korbliq, Kotlinë, Llanishtë, Nikoc, Ivajë and Drenogllavë are not connected to a water supplier.

Road Infrastructure

The investigation has revealed that the residents of the village of Begracë have complained that the road within the neighborhoods of Gash, Kuqishtë and Jahaj are not paved.

The municipality also lacks sidewalks and public lightning in the villages as well as within the suburbs of the city.

The General Auditor, who found that on February 2nd, 2016, the municipality of Kacanik secured a contract worth 53 thousand euros for the maintenance of local roads, has provided its remarks on the given municipality. According to the auditor, the municipality of Kacanik implemented this project within six months although the contract’s timeline was one year.

As it was written on the General Auditor’s 2016 report on Kacanik, “this comes as a result of improper planning of costs, considering that the municipality needs to complete the road maintenance throughout the entire year, both during summer and winter. This has imposed an additional cost to the municipality considering that the municipality secured another contract with another operator.”

The next mayor of the municipality will be expected to address the existing problems in the municipality.

Kaçanik has a budget of 6.6 million euros, out of which only 494 thousand euros are self-generated revenues.

This municipality also has problems with budget surplus: the problem is not the lack of money, but the municipality simply did not know how to spend it. According to the auditor, seven capital projects that were planned to be implemented in 2016 were not even in the initial phase during the completion of the auditor’s report in early 2017.  This municipality tolerates debtors, even those who use municipal property without paying debts.

The ‘Agricultural Capital’ with Many Problems

What are the problems and challenges that the next mayor of Rahovec will face?

Based on a Life in Kosovo investigation, the problems of the residents of Rahovec are not little compared to the territory this municipality has. Inhabited by 76 thousand residents, the Rahovec Municipality has a budget worth 11.5 million euros, out of which 3.5 million were allocated for capital investments in 2016. The long list of problems the citizens of Rahovec deal with cannot be solved within one mandate, with a budget of 3.5 million euros for capital investments.

Education and kindergarten


The municipality of Rahovec has 42 school buildings in total, and around 12 thousand students enrolled in elementary and high schools. The auditor has noted complaints about the huge number of teachers fired from their jobs. For this, the Work Inspectorate fined the Municipality of Rahovec twice in 2014. The Director of Education was accused for misuse of official duty.

Apart from this, researchers have revealed the lack of cabinets within professional schools, which were initially planned to have cabinets for practical exercises. The municipality of Rahovec has a professional school, and there are 400 students attending classes within this school. The school has a new building, which lacks the relevant cabinets for practical exercises for students. In the beginning of the school’s construction, the building was projected to have cabinets for food technology, information technology, electro, machinery and agriculture. The school has none of the abovementioned classrooms, expert for the food technology, which was recently built.

In the recent years, the huge number of student absences in schools was identified as an issue. In 2016 (during the first and second semesters), Rahovec’s Education Directorate documented 208,903 student absences during classes.

Rahovec has demolished the old kindergarten building in order to build a new building in better conditions. The students are currently attending an improvised kindergarten.

In the municipality of Rahovec, there are three other requests submitted by residents for opening kindergartens. One of the requests is from the village of Krushë e Madhe, the next from the village of Ratkoc, and the last one from Xërxë. So far, the municipality has not included the opening of new kindergartens in its budget or plans.

Infrastructure, water, and the bus station


There are still villages in Rahoves that are not connected to the water supplier. The Zone in the Neighborhood 3 in Rahovec has a water supply network, but lacks drinking water. This problem was brought up by the residents of the villages through a petition.

The workings of the process of water supplying have recently started within three villages.

The village of Kaznik lacks a water supply network, while workings have started in the villages of Guri i Kuq, Palluzhë, Pastasellë and Zatriq, and the first phase of networking is completed. However, these three villages lack drinking water. The drilling was completed in the village of Pastasellë, and the basin for drinking water supply for this village was built. According to the analyses conducted during Smajl Latifi’s mandate, water was drinkable, while during the mandate of Idriz Vehapit, water was non-drinkable.

The municipality of Rahovec has inherited the problem with the bus station. Its ownership is still unresolved.  The bus station is legally a property of the Kosovo Privatization Agency, but technically is managed by the municipality. The municipality has not taken any measures to resolve the status of this company.

The “Life in Kosovo” team has found that there is a risk that old buildings will collapse in Rahovec. A relatively large number of buildings within the different parts of the city are dated and might collapse, and could threaten citizens’ safety. The municipality has not taken any protective measures yet for the reparation and preservation of these buildings. Apart from this, the villages of Rahovec lack public lighting, as well as sidewalks in some particular areas.


Budget and agriculture

Rahovec is the capital of agriculture. It is known for grape and vegetable production.  For a few years now, farmers were faced with damage from frost, hall, and floods, and they never received the compensation they deserved.  A large part of agricultural lands is under the irrigation system, but there are still parts outside of it, especially the hilly part, right where the vineyards are. Rahovec has a budget of 11.5 million euros, 3.5 million of which were spent on capital investments in 2016.

Rahovec has a basketball team competing in the first league of Kosovo, but unfortunately, the municipality has no sports hall. The construction of the sports hall in the Municipality of Rahovec began in 2008, is not finished yet. The workings completed so far have begun to get damaged. This sports hall is transformed into a shelter for dogs, and is frequented by drug addicts.

The obelisk of war in Gradish, which up to now, has cost more than 400 thousand euros, is in a similar state. Initially projected as a war memorial, which was also supposed to be a museum and an area for various festivals, looks more like a ruin today.

In Kamenica, a Surplus of Professors and a Shortage of Gynecologists

What solutions will the next mayor of Kamenica bring for the municipality’s problems?  

The Municipality of Kamenica, inhabited by 36 thousand people, has the least investments of any Kosovo municipality. For the next four years, Kamenica has allocated only 124 thousand euros for capital investments; Kacanik, which has a similar number of residents, has allocated 1.1 million.

Kamenica has no gynecologists, and consequently, women are forced to travel to Gjilan in order to give birth and receive gynecological check-ups.  Kamenica, too, is among the municipalities that have issues with the lack of essential medications. This problem is mostly faced by those diagnosed by diabetes, who struggle with the municipality’s lack of insulin.  The unemployment rate in Kamenica is 35 per cent, and residents are in need of social care.

In Kamenica’s education sector, there are many issues with staff recruitment and class division. Two years ago, in the absence of funding and support, the football tournament that has been organized since after the Kosovo War had unfortunately stopped being held. Moreover, athletics champions of Rogana, who represented the Republic of Kosovo at the Olympics, were supported by the municipality with only 4,500 euros this year.

BIRN Kosovo’s mayoral debate series #DebatPernime (#RealDebates) discussed these issues and others with Kamenica’s mayoral candidates.


Kamenica, a municipality with no gynecologists

In Kamenica, three years ago, the sole gynecologist retired; since then, the municipality has had no gynecologist. For some time, some gynecologists from Gjilan worked on a rotational basis, and left the job in order to fulfill the needs of Gjilan hospital. There have been no gynecological check-up, let alone births, in Kamenica over the past few years, causing residents to travel to Gjilan.

Part-time teachers
Another issue in regards to healthcare is the supply of the essential medications. According to the Municipality of Kamenica, although the Ministry of Health is authorized to complete the given duty, MFMC often purchases basic (urgent) material with the municipal budget.  Diabetic patients suffer the consequences the most, considering that their health needs require insulin, and sometimes such medications are absent at MFMC due to insufficient supply.


According to’s and the GAP Institute’s research, many school buildings in Kamenica need renovation. There are 10 schools with fewer than 25 students, while some students are obliged to walk in dangerous, mountainous terrains to attend classes.
Today, in the village of Lisockë, within a building constructed in the late 1970s, there are only 20 students attending classes, with three or four students per classroom. In the school of the Meshinë village, there are only three students; in the village of Kranidel, there are four students, and there are also four students in Dazhnica. There are 10 schools in total that have less than 25 students.

In the education system of the Municipality of Kamenica, there are also problems in regards to staff recruitment and class division. Due to the large number of teachers engaged, the average work rate is below 40 hours per week. Also, trying to hire as many teachers as possible, the municipality has increased the number of employees in schools, and thus reducing salaries for teachers.

During the local election debate in 2013, the Kamenica Mayor, Begzad Sinani, promised, among other things, to construct a school in the village of Krilevë. In 2016, Sinani, in the middle of his mandate, promised that the given school will be built in 2017, but this has not happened yet.

During the past four years, municipal student scholarships were granted only once. These scholarships were awarded in 2015, from which about 100 students benefited.

A theater hall for commemorative meetings

Kamenica has issues with culture and sports too.  The main problem ensembles and other cultural groups face in the Municipality of Kamenica appears to be the lack of financial resources, which would serve to support professional and technical preparation, including residents’ participation in festivals and ensemble-related activities. The Municipality of Kamenica stated that they have tried to support culture groups, and the average annual amount going towards them during the last four years was around 5,000 euros per year.
The theater hall located in Kamenica’s cultural house is not used for theatrical performances, but for political parties’ meetings and commemorative meetings.

In the absence of funding for the past two years, the municipal power has terminated the largest sports activity, which has been held in this municipality since the post-war period. In honor of the Liberation Day of the city, on June 18, the Directorate for Culture and Sport in Kamenica for many years organized the football tournament. This sports activity lasted about 20 days, and the final match was held on June 18, which marked the city’s liberation day.

The Athletic Club “Rogana” remains one of the most successful athletics clubs in Kosovo. Out of the seven participants in the Summer Olympic Games Rio 2016, two participants, Musa Hajdari and Vijona Kryeziu, came from the “Rogana” athletics club.

According to a research conducted by the GAP Institute, the Kamenica Municipality has allocated only 4,500 euros a year to this club, which is 375 euros per month to support the whole club.


Only 124 thousand euros for capital investments

Compared to other municipalities, Kamenica is the municipality with the lowest level of capital investments. In 2016, Kamenica realized only 281 thousand euros of capital investment, while this year, it planned only 124 thousand euros, or 3.44 euros per capita. The previous amount is only 1.7 per cent of the municipal budget, which is very little compared to other municipalities, that generally invest 29 per cent of the budget. The huge number of employees remains one of the reasons for this, considering the prevalence of over-employment within the administration and education sectors.
In Kamenica, there is one civil servant employed in administration sector in relation to 156 residents, who is supposed to provide services for 156 inhabitants, while the average in the country is one civil servant for 278 inhabitants. The student-teacher ratio in Kamenica is 12 to 1, while the average in the country is 29.9. According to MEST, the optimal number should be 21.

The municipality also does not properly cover rents. According to the auditor, out of 7 public spaces that have been leased by Municipality of Kamenica, the given municipality has lost over 90 thousand euros due to the non-collection of rent. The auditor has also revealed that the municipality has no mechanisms for applying fines for late-payment delays.

Villages with no sidewalks

Kamenica has managed to pave the road in the city center, and in the main parts of the city. However, based on’s and the GAP Institute’s research, infrastructure continues to be a problem for this municipality. At a gathering in the village of Topanica, during the electoral campaign in 2013, Begzad Sinani promised the construction and expansion of the bridge at the entrance of the village. However, it was not constructed in 2017 either, and the lack of an expansion continues to make it impossible for two vehicles to pass at the same time.

The village of Hodonoc is need of roads and asphalt, as well as the village of Topanicë, right where the mosque and 30 houses are located, including the road Shipashnicë e Epërme – Desivojcë, and the road across the the river in the Koretin village. The road in the Lagjja Bugaqku neighborhood in Koretin also needs to be paved.

The villages of Kopernica, both Upper and Lower Shipashnicë, Muçivercë, Topanica, Busavata, Krilevo, Strezoc, Ruboc, and Petroc have no sidewalks. Also, in the neighborhood of Çamëria and Malësia in Kamenica, the sidewalks are narrow. The Stralica and Bosce villages, inhabited by Serbs, have no sidewalks either. In the meantime, the Rogane village has incomplete sidewalks in some of its neighborhoods.





Insufficient citizen services in Suhareka

What problems in Suhareka will the mayor have to solve after October 22?

BIRN Kosovo’s mayoral debate series #DebatPernime has been diving deep into municipal issues in the days leading up to Kosovo’s local elections. In Suhareka,’s investigative research team has uncovered a myriad of citizen concerns that this municipality’s next mayor should address.

There were five candidates present at the debate in Suhareka: Bali Muharremaj of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Blerim Xhemajli for the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Kadri Balaj of NISMA, Sali Asllanaj of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), and Sali Zyba from Vetevendosje. Each candidate presented their promises and platforms to their potential voters.

During this past mandate, the Municipality of Suhareka has been run by Asllanaj from LDK.

The team have found that the city of Suhareka has a few regulatory plans that were approved in the Municipality Assembly during the previous mandate. However, the Ministry of Environment has withdrawn all of them, since the plans were drafted without taking the municipal development plan into consideration.

The field research has shown that in the city of Suhareka, there are in total nine regulatory plans drafted, but they have failed and have caused huge financial losses. The field findings show that apart from the villages of Samadrexhe, Studenqan and Mushtisht, the other remaining villages do not have regulatory plans at all.

The field team has found that the Municipality of Suhareka, despite the investments in roads, has not managed to eliminate traffic jams.

The most crowded road is the one from the Balkan Factory to Shiroka, then the transit road that links to Skenderbeu Street, and then the main road, Brigada 123. The city of Suhareka has a major issues with lack of parking lots. The citizens park their cars everywhere, while the pedestrians do not have sidewalks to walk on.

The lack of parking lots for cars causes problems throughout the entire year, but the problem becomes more concerning during summer when the diaspora visits.

The field research shows that drinkable water continues to be an issue for the citizens of Suhareka. Twelve villages of Suhareka still do not have a water supply network.

The city also has problems with drinkable water supply, especially during summer because there is no drinking water supply. This makes the lives of Suhareka citizens harder.

Based on the data collected, the following villages do not have access to water or have issues with water supply: Nishor, Gelancë, Leshan, Tërrnje, Budakovë, Dobërdelan, the city street of Reqan, and Bukoshi.

Further, based on the field research, Suhareka has problems with illegal waste disposals. The team located zones within the city and in villages across the streets where illegal waste disposals were apparent.

Based on the data, Suhareka foresaw building a waste disposal and the location for this disposal was even located, but no investment has been made yet. The city is full of illegal waste disposals, some of which are found in lakes.

The team has found that out of the 30 schools in Suhareka, only three of them have Chemistry and Physics labs, while only six schools have a sports hall. The research has shown that the city schools are in need of more space due to an increasing number of students.

Suhareka continues to have only one public kindergarten. The kindergarten building is too old, and the municipality has not invested in any other location in order to build other kindergartens. The single public kindergarten is located on a disputable property, and some of the building remains to be dysfunctional due to a property dispute that is currently in court.

Another problem related to education in Suhareka is the court sums that the Municipal Directorate of Education has with its retired staff. There are also cases when the Court has returned the staff to work. For instance, there was a school director in the village Sallagrazhde and one female teacher in Suhareka.’s investigation shows that the municipality of Suhareka has problems in the field of health, with several emergency clinics out of function. This is mainly due to the lack of staff, because the municipality has not had the means to hire doctors and other staff personnel in these clinics. As a consequence, there is an overload of patients at the Main Center of Family Medicine in Suhareka.

The findings show that Suhareka has had issues with implementing projects and their own source of revenues. Out of the total budget of this municipality, 12.7 million euros, 3.3 are allocated to capital investments. The bulk of this budget is a grant from the government, while the revenues of the municipality of Suhareka in 2016, according to the audit, have been only 1.1 million euros. Hence, Suhareka also has budgetary problems.

Because Suhareka has not managed to implement its projects on time, the citizens of this city face problems such as potholes, lack of drinkable water, lack of sewage systems, and so forth.

Despite the huge potential for agriculture and tourism development, the municipality of Suhareka allocates only 5 per cent of its capital investment budget for these vital sectors related to economic development. Meanwhile, Suhareka allocates over 50 per cent of its capital investment budget to paving roads.

The Municipality of Suhareka has not regulated the public transport within the city. As such, the citizens travel via private minibuses, and residents in villages use private bus companies.