Wastewater treatment collector in Botun, Montenegro

The citizens of Botun have been opposing construction of a collector for wastewater from the Montenegrin capital Podgorica.


Description
The project of urban wastewater drainage and treatment from the Montenegrin capital Podgorica includes construction of a collector on the river Morača in village Botun, Zeta region. Since 2005, when the first information on the project was released by the Parliament of Podgrica, the residents of Botun, Golubovci and other nearby villages in Zeta region start fighting against it. Botun residents believe the collector would include both air and water pollution that would negatively impact the neighboring agricultural field and local settlements just 200 m away from the proposed location. The residents pointed out they have already been struggling against the pollution from the nearby Aluminum Plant Podgorica. The local residents suggested choosing another location for the collector. They pointed out that the project did not count with EIA study and expressed their fear the project would use obsolete technology. The conflict got political dimension, as the local residents in a lack of other ways to impact the decision on the collector construction voted for the political parties that promised to represent their opinion against the collector in the Parliament of Podgrica. Besides, for many years Zeta region has the aspiration to become decentralized municipality from Podgorica which would give it more freedom in decision-making. On July 20, 2012 the Parliament of Podgorica gave the consent to JP “Vodovod i kanalizacija (PU "Water and Sewerage") decision on publishing the call for the construction of drainage and municipal wastewater treatment plant in Botun. In a reaction to these decision 12 representatives of opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) and members of the Assembly of a Municipality of Golubovci sent a petition against the collector signed by 575 people to the authorities of Podgorica city and Golubovci Municipality. In a response to the petition, acting director of PU "Water and Sewerage" said the location of the future collector was chosen in a strategic environment assessment to correspond to the industrial zone of Aluminium Plant. He added that any potential negative effects on the environment will be possible to spot only when the construction works start. Local people organized a public debate on which they invited the local authorities to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with lack of information on the collector construction draft plan and express their determination to if needed physically stop any construction works. The authority representatives did not show up to the debate, however later on the draft of collector project plan was made available to public. In December 2013, the mayor of Podgorica confirmed the future collector location will be in Zeta region, whose details will be defined by experts. As of news from April 2014, the representatives of the political opposition used the arguments against the collector in Botun as a part of its election campaign; some of them even suggested Ljeskopolje to be the location of the project as stated in the project original plans. On in May 2014, PE “Water and Sewage” announced the possibility of giving the construction of the collector to an Austrian-German company WTE and Montenegrin company Čelebić based on their technical offer. In second half of 2015, KfW bank was selected to elaborate two studies for construction of the collector. However, the public call for main investor is still open. The citizens of Botun continue to oppose the project.  
Basic Data
NameWastewater treatment collector in Botun, Montenegro
CountryMontenegro
ProvinceZeta region
SiteBotun
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific CommoditiesWater
Waste water
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
The wastewater treatment plant is planned for around 100,000 citizens of Podgorica. Local people suspect more waste water will be directed in the collector from other big cities in Montenegro.
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Project Area (in hectares)15
Level of Investment (in USD)61,700,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationMore than 1,000
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesJP “Vodovod i kanalizacija" Podgorica (VIKPG) from Montenegro - In charge of the project
Čelebić from Montenegro - Interested in construction of the collector
WTE (WTE) from Germany - Interested in construction of the collector
Relevant government actorsThe Municipality of Golubovci; The Parliament of Podgorica
International and Financial InstitutionsGerman Development Bank KfW (KfW) from Germany
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCitizens of Botun; Local people from Zeta region; opposition political parties (Social Democratic Party -SDP).
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationOfficial complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Public debate
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Development of AlternativesOver the years residents of Botun have been fighting against construction of a wastewater collector in their village. They consider themselves excluded from the discussion and decision making on the location of the collector. The outcome of the project depends on the results of political election, since some political parties promised in their election campaign to continue fighting against the collector. As a possible solution the local authorities have suggested relocation of the local settlements, the local people find this unacceptable and asked for considering other location for the collector. The authorities consider the project of great importance for further sustainable development of Podgorica.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is in preparation phase. The authorities are in process of choosing the companies that would work on and invest in the collector construction. The envisaged location is at the entrance to the village Botun.
Sources and Materials
Links

Podgorica calls tender for 45 mln euro wastewater, sludge treatment project
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Mugoša: Kolektor nigdje drugo osim u Zeti
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Botunjanima je dosta jedan KAP
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Skupština glavnog grada: Uskoro tender za kolektor u Botunu
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Golubovci: Opozicija i SDP protiv kolektora u Botunu
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Ne pristaju na kolektor u selu
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Nacrt PUP-a Golubovci: Kolektor će morati kroz Zetu
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„Ne” i „da” kolektoru u Botunu
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Ponovo će raditi studiju za kolektor
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PODGORICA: PONUDA ZA KOLEKTOR U BOTUNU
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Presuđuju o ponudi za kolektor u Botunu
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Protestom će braniti gradnju kolektora
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NA VIJEST DA JE POČELA IZRADA STUDIJA ZA POSTROJENJE ZA PREČIŠĆAVANJE OTPADNIH VODA, BOTUNJANI PORUČILI
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Za studije 400.000 eura
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Novi tender za kolektor u Zeti
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Tender možda do kraja godine
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Other Documents

Public debate organised by local people In public debate organised by local residents they shown the determination to stop the collector construction in Botun at any cost.
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Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)gmail.com
Last update25/04/2016
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