If you are about to head to the beach this year, focus on taking along only your beach essentials and leave your cares about hygiene at home. Try to enjoy the sun, get a tan and spend every last drop of that sunscreen. It will not be necessary for you to bother about any hygiene concerns. At least that is what state officials are saying. In an interview for AgroWeb, Minister of Environment Lefter Koka guaranteed that cleanliness in Albanian beaches has improved significantly.

“In the last years, local and central government have provided assistance in conducting several investments in cleaning plants in coastal areas. We have carried out measurements in several of the so called delta areas through the entire coastline that have had problems. We found out that the situation has improved by 25 percent, compared to last year” Minister Koka told AgroWeb

Official statistics reveal that over 90% of beaches in Albania belong to category A which means the quality of water is very good. There are 99 monitoring points in the country and 90 of them guarantee the quality of these beaches which means that the situation improved up to 50 percent compared to 2014. Minister Koka argues that the process has been performing as a result of direct investments and public awareness.

“Nowadays, those who invest in the coastline can no longer afford polluted waters, because their investments will not pay back. We have relied on the collaboration of citizens and naturally today I can say that water quality is better” Minister Koka explains.

Ksamil beach, Albania. Photo: WebLibrary

Mr Koka does not hide his ambition of Albania hosting many tourists this year, but his optimism is based on investments in infrastructure. “Local government has been very attentive to this issue, because tourism is a very important asset to these cities. Maybe Albania will have a record number of tourists this year, because Turkey is not perceived as tourism destination. I believe that Albania and Greece will be two countries with the highest number of tourists” Minister Koka added.

The National Agency of Environment monitored the water quality and concluded that beaches of Divjaka, Velipoja, Tale, Shëngjin, Gjiri i Lalzit, Golem, Qerret, Spille, Zvërnec, Dhërmi, Himara, Qeparo, Borsh, Ksamili, and Seman are clean.

Preliminary measures show that the water quality is unfit for public use in three areas: Marine School Station in Vlora, Saranda Beach (Çukës-Dodona Canal Station) and in Durres Beach (Xhardino Complex Station).

The news here is that the former problematic area of Durres Beach has witnessed a significant improve in water quality. “There are several cities that urgently need plants for wastewater and must do a lot of work for septic tanks. Developed countries such as Sweden have septic tanks installed to deal with waste water. These countries also rely on nature to clean organic waste” Minister Koka explains

Now that you have a full picture, you can leave your doubts at home and take guarantees about the water quality along. All you need to care about is the summer hat, swimwear and the weeks you will spend by the beach. Pay attention to the service, prices and customer care which need further improve. The rest of your concerns are long gone./AgroWeb.org

*Gert Selenica is a prime-time program chief-editor at VizionPlus TV and has been working as a journalist since 1995. Along such professional experience, his stories mainly focus on political, economy, social concerns and environmental issues. Gert Selenica is a contributing writer at AgroWeb.org