Experience Note: Building Community Acceptance for Constructed Treatment Wetlands
The project's development objective is to improve the provision of water supply and sanitation services in the selected Albanian cities. Albania had no wastewater treatment facilities and raw sewage is discharged untreated into seas and rivers. Municipal waste water treatment is being put in place by the introduction of engineering wetlands. This however, poses questions of social acceptance within the community. The extent of social development participation in this project early on makes for a substantial and meaningful upstream consultation exercise, which in turn influences project design. Poverty and social aspects are covered in exemplary fashion, including careful and patient engagement of local
stakeholders in a process that also has design impact. Favorable local media coverage of the consultation, assessment and communications process contributes to local stakeholder engagement in the project. Synergy between different units working in the team works well and management draws on the positive aspects of this project as an input to a larger country dialogue. The experience is significant for demonstrating that careful project preparation results in having an improved, efficient and sustainable waste water treatment facility even at the face of social acceptability challenges.
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