October 30, 2012
On October 30, 2012, a total of 43 garbage compactor trucks were delivered to the public waste collection company in charge of the capital of Pristina and the second largest city Prizren as part of the Project for Improvement of Solid Waste Management, the first grant for Kosovo. That day, under a blue sky, 33 donated compactor trucks were lined up on the square of the public waste disposal company in Prizren and a hand-over ceremony was held in front of the trucks.
From the Kosovo side, Dardan Gashi, minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Besim Beqaj, minister of Economic Development, and Ramadan Muja, mayor of Prizren, attended the ceremony, and all three of them emphasized that this provision was the first grant assistance from the Government of Japan to Kosovo and that the grant agreement was carried out despite being immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred in March 2011. Although proceeding with work on schedule is taken as a matter of course for us Japanese, it seemed that the Kosovo side was strongly impressed by the fact that Japan always follows through on its commitments.
This grant is linked to the Project for Enhancement of the Capacity for Waste Management toward Sound Material-cycle Society  , which JICA is currently implementing in Kosovo. For this grant, not only were the equipments provided, but dispatching Japanese experts also intends to increase the waste management capacity of Prizren City Hall and the public company as well as to raise awareness of the environment among residents, which will improve both the tangible and intangible fronts. The Kosovo side said that this gift from Japan holds an important place in environmental measures in Kosovo, and that through the link to the technical cooperation project currently in progress, they would like to improve the living environment of not only Prizren residents but also all Kosovo citizens.
After Shigeo Iwatani, Japanese ambassador, gave the keys to the compactor trucks to the Kosovo side, the public waste disposal company made a garbage collection demonstration, and the hand-over ceremony came to an end successfully.
In 2009, JICA began official assistance to Kosovo, and more than 70 Kosovo public servants have participated in training in Japan. Seizing this opportunity of the first grant aid to Kosovo, we placed an advertisement in Kosovo’s three major national papers to introduce the JICA projects on the day of the handover ceremony. The advertisement was in both of Kosovo’s official languages, Albanian and Serbian.
It is hoped that from the synergetic effect of the ongoing technical cooperation project, this cooperation will improve the garbage collection system and disposal capacity in Kosovo.
JICA Balkan Office
One of the garbage collection trucks given in the first grant aid to Kosovo
The garbage problem is serious in Kosovo