One Day On Earth
Dragash/š municipality is located in the southernmost part of Kosovo, at an altitude of 1.050 meters. The municipality includes Dragash/Dragaš town and 35 villages and spreads throughout the regions of Gora and Opojë/Opolje. The estimated population is over 41,000. About two-thirds of the inhabitants are Kosovo Albanian and one third are Kosovo Gorani and Bosniaks.
Dragash/š is among the most underdeveloped regions in Kosovo. The economic situation is dominated by a high rate of unemployment, suffering from population loss resulting from large-scale emigration, and limited access to public transportation, modern forms of energy services, education, phone lines, health facilities and markets.
The Sharr mountain, an alpine range in Dragash/ š bordering Macedonia to the east and south and Albania to the west is capital natural habitat important not only for Dragash/š, but also for Kosovo as well as South-Eastern Europe. The habitat possesses high value in its bio-diversity and large fauna, its economic agriculture potential, and it’s water-shed and water resources, the hydropower energy potential, importantly, is a key alternative energy source.
The objective of the ongoing Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use Management in Dragash/š project is to put in place sustainable development plans/policies to effectively respond to the need of central & local government, as well as to promote employment and environmental protection. It comes after a one year Preparatory Assistance to Sustainable Development Project, part of which was the two sub-projects that we visited and filmed.
Elementary school in Kosavë/o village
The main intention of the project was saving energy and increasing the conditions for the students and teachers, through thermally insulating external walls of the school premises and replacing windows and doors. The project created a better working environment, warmer during winter and cooler during the summer months.
A long-term benefit for the community is the saving the energy of combustible such as wood and coal that is basically used in the schools of municipality of Dragash/ š. Saving combustible resources will amount to about 40 % in comparison to the time when the school has not been thermally insulated and with doors and windows with greater coefficient of thermal conductivity. From here, we can emphasize also the decrease of CO2 emission in the area, in consequence of reduced consumption of combustibles (wood, coal).
First Solar Water Heating in Medical Health Family Centre
A pilot project, “Installation of a Solar System for Sanitary Water Heating at the Medical Centre in Dragash/š”, was implemented by UNDP with the support of the non-governmental energy organization AKEREE, and funded by the Government of Finland, to promote the use of solar panels for heating the sanitary water supply of the Medical Health Family Centre (MHFC). Additionally, the targets included increased energy efficiency and a stable adequate supply of hot sanitary water for the MHFC.
Water is heated by using the solar energy collectors on the roof of the building while the water is kept in the 27 central boilers of the hospital. The employees of MFHC have been trained to maintain the solar water heating system and to avoid any damage caused by casual electricity cut. The expected results of the two months pilot project include annual electric energy savings 16 MWh, annual reduction in CO2 emissions by 17.4 Ton and annual reduction in electricity costs totalling 2.000 Euros. The money saved from the decreased electricity consumption will be used for investments within MHFC.
Being the first solar water heating system in Dragash/š municipality, the pilot project has a great demonstration value by introducing the potential of renewable energy to the local community. Hopefully, the promising results of using solar energy will have a gripping effect on the other activities in the region including dairy, food processing and especially households.