Dilapidated industrial plants, a lack of sewage plants and high air pollution burden the environment. Cities like Ballsh, Patos or Elbasan in central Albania reveal the extent of the lack of environmental awareness and the indifference of big company’s. Rivers, soil and lakes are so heavily polluted that it would take decades to eliminate the damage and the people have no other choice but to live in this pollution. The farmers use the contaminated water to irrigate their fields. Animals and human beings in these regions are in major health risk. Furthermore, a lack of safety measures in factories pose a potential danger for the workers. Time after time workers in the oil or steel industry pay for their jobs with their lives.
Until 2010, the goverment had initiated an enviromental program to reduce the level of pollution to a european mediocrity. That program was only translated partly into action and terminated without real success. Currently, there are still plans to advance the protection of the environment. For the current government these plans take low priority, so that an improvement of the situation can not be expected anytime soon.