Investigation 29 Feb 16

World Bank Probes Role in Kosovo Evictions

Thousands are to be evicted from Kosovo villages surrounding a new power plant as the World Bank investigates its own actions in the ‘flawed’ resettlement programme.

Petrit Collaku
Pristina, Hade
Hade village.

“We can’t sleep at night because when the big bulldozers move, the noise they make is unbearable ... and we can hear the workers communicating by radio,” says Sylejman Preniqi, head of one of 60 families that remain in the dying village of Hade.

The largely abandoned hamlet, 15 miles from Kosovo’s capital Pristina, abuts a giant, open mine holding one of Europe’s largest reserves of dirty, brown coal.

The remainder of the village is set to be swallowed up as the mine expands in coming years to feed a new power plant that the government hopes will solve Kosovo’s chronic electricity shortages.

Preniqi, her fellow villagers and another 7,000 people from the surrounding area, know they will be forced from their homes as part of the development, but the authorities refuse to say when and where they will be moved.

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