Flooding in Shkodra – people who have lost everything
Unprecedented floods have spread throughout Albania in early December, more than 14 hectares of land are flooded and 15,000 people were forced to leave their homes.
The flood was preceded by massive rainfall, especially in the Albanian Alps. The Drin River coming from there, and the Buna river which springs from the Shkodra Lake flooded the shore. The gates of a hydroelectric power station powered by the river Drin were opened because the level of the reservoir was only 1.5 meters below the maximum mark. The opening of another dam further downstream is expected, the private TV station Top Channel reported on its website.
Floods hit various parts of the country, especially the areas around Shkodra and Lezha. In Shkodra alone (both rural areas and the town itself) over 4900 houses were flooded, more than 14,000 people were evacuated. The Albanian government has declared a state of emergency.
Affected communities are: Ana e Malit, Dajc, Berdice, Bushat, Gur i Zi, and Livadhe Velipoja. Local authorities also report that police and armed forces were used for the evacuation of the more problematic areas: villages around the town Dajc, the village Obot the municipality Ana e Malit, the village of Mali i Jushit the community Bushat, the community Berdica, the community Velipoja and suburbs of the city of Shkodra, near Shkodra lake. In Velipoja alone some 10,000 people are completely surrounded by water and are completely isolated, the place can be reached only by helicopter. Also in Livadhe about 185 families are surrounded by water. Another 50 families have now been evacuated from Livadhe.
There is no water and electricity supply for the villages Dajc, Trush, Zues, District Xhabije (Shkodra), Dracin Shiroka and Zogaj.
About 335 people in the community of Roma and Egyptian-born, who ussed to live on the banks of Shkodra Lake were evacuated and housed in military barracks. The Albanian Red Cross has been distributing food to 110 families in the village of Obot and for the 335 people from the community of Roma and Egyptian-born in the barracks. Food is scarce for all concerned. Photos also show that the Roma families urgenty need blankets and towels.
This community of Roma and Egyptian-born was hit particularly hard because this summer 5 months ago they had lost everything in a devastating fire. Power fluctuations caused by flying sparks ignited a tent in the community from which all the other tents and huts caught fire. The fire could not be brought under control due to strong winds. No one was hurt, but people have since been left homeless and forced to spend the night outdoors.
Makeshift tents and huts restored after the fire have now been again destroyed by the flood.
As Albania is experiencing a very hard winter this year, the displaced persons are in desperate need to blankets, pillows, matrasses and insulation mats.
In conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs ADRA Albania will donate to the community of Roma and Egypt-born food, clothing, hygiene items, bed linen and towels. The distribution of relief supplies will be carried out next week with the help of police and the Ministry. Food packages are compiled with non-perishable food items and bread, which are purchased freshly from the donated funds. A meal package per person includes a glass of jam, a packet of margarine, a can of fish, a glass of pickled peppers with feta cheese and two 500g loaves of bread. The composition of the packages meets the standards of the Sphere Project.
Donations of clothes from the transport from ADRA Germany will be handed out; the clothes are sorted so that each package includes clothing for men, women and children, as well as hats and gloves.
Hygiene articles for ADRA Germany Transport will provide per person one shower gel, two toothbrushes and two tubes of toothpaste.
Toys for children as well as gift packages from the project “Children Helping Children” will also be distributed to the children. A private donation will be used for the transportation costs.