Roads Create New Livelihoods on Albania’s Coast
June 30, 2014
Zana Papagjika says getting to her café in the Albanian coastal village of Nivica is now easier for local costumers, due to the recent paving of the road that runs by it.
And she’s positive that during the summer months ahead, the revamped path will entice international clients as well.
“No doubt it will improve the business and tourism as well, because everything that is nice begets nice things. And people have always liked this area, and now that the road is better, they will like it more,” Papagjika says.
Providing better access to villages along Albania’s seacoast is part of the country’s Coastal Village Conservation and Development Program.
The program promotes tourism on the South Albania Coast in several ways, including newly paved routes and paths.
No doubt it will improve the business and tourism as well. People have always liked this area, and now that the road is better, they will like it more.
As part of a cultural heritage component of the coastal development program, the roads it rehabilitates are made to blend in with the historic region’s traditional architecture, and lead to historic and potentially tourist-rich sites, like historic churches and museums.
“This will develop this area and region and it will be good for tourism, which is the only income for the village,” says Aleks Marko, a local official in the coastal village of Dhermi.
At least 8 road projects have been completed under the development program, which is financed by the World Bank.
In addition to making Albania’s southern sea coast and natural assets more appealing to tourists, the program is rendering life more comfortable for the area’s thousands of permanent residents.
In Nivica, teachers and children report getting to class with less difficulty, because of the new road which now passes directly in front of the village’s only school.
“The road before was narrower and made of stone and dirt, but now it is wide, and easier to walk on,” says Nivica teacher, Krisanthi Papagjika
The new road in Nivica also passes by the village’s only clinic, meaning villagers’ access to medical treatment has improved too.
Café owner Zana Papagjika, meanwhile, says the newly-paved road has made her life more financially comfortable.
“A Swiss couple came and was stunned by the view and asked for a place for the summer,” she says, adding that because the road passes just in front of her place, the number of customers is increasing, and so are her profits!
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