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SRSG, Japanese Ambassador inaugurate electricity substation in North Mitrovica

Mitrovica - SRSG Michael Steiner joined UNDP Guest of Honour, H.E Yoshiki Mine, Ambassador of Japan to FRY, to inaugurate a new $1 million electricity sub-station in North Mitrovica. The 35-years-old power transmission & distribution system had suffered from years of neglect and damage during the conflict.
"If there's one topic that has accompanied our work in the past months, its electricity," said SRSG Michael Steiner. "Mostly we had to deal with problems. But today we have a very positive occasion to talk about electricity."

The sub-station in North Mitrovica is part of the UNDP Housing and Electrification in Kosovo (HEIK) Project that was established in 2000 with US$19.8 million donated by the Government of Japan to reconstruct houses and to restore the power system in Mitrovica and Skenderaj Municipalities. The Programme has successfully reconstructed more than 850 houses in different communities and has disbursed some $8 million in rehabilitating Kosovo's electricity system.

"This station and the two other sub-stations that will be inaugurated in the coming weeks in the southern part of the city and in Skenderaj have been rebuilt with the money of the Japanese government who I wish to thank, said SRSG Michael Steiner. "Especially, Ambassador Mine who will soon leave Kosovo."

Two more sub-stations, in South Mitrovica and Skenderaj, will be inaugurated in March/April 2003. Some 40,000 people in Mitrovica North and 50,000 people in Mitrovica South are expected to benefit from this rehabilitation project and a more reliable electricity supply.

Since the end of the conflict, through various UNDP Projects, the Government of Japan has donated approximately 40 million US dollars to Kosovo

"As the power system was in a very bad condition in Mitrovica, many people had to live completely without electricity for a long time, said SRSG Michael Steiner. "A total of eight million dollars has been invested in electricity in the northern part of Kosovo. This is a huge sum and a great help for the development of this place."