Support to the population of South Albania facing a flood emergency (February 2015)

Project location: ALBANIA, South Albania
Project start date: February 2015 - Project end date: April 2015
Project number: 2015-001
Beneficiary: Dioqeza Sapes – Sapes Diocese


Heavy rain, snow and high winds swept the entire territory of Albania on Wednesday, 4 February 2015 as the flood situation in Albania's southern regions was expected to further deteriorate in the coming days.
According to Albanian Telegraphic Agency, Albanian authorities called on evacuated residents in the hardest-hit areas not to return home because situation remained critical and was expected to worsen.
Central and local authorities also called on residents to closely cooperate with civil emergency crews on the ground and the State Police structures to evacuate if needed.
Meanwhile snow and ice swept Albanian northern regions overnight hampering the traffic along national roads. The Albanian Ministry of Interior said in a press release that an estimated 5,000 hectares across the country were under water due to flooding over the previous four days.
According to the Ministry of Interior, more than 420 families have been evacuated, while emergency crews have also started to distribute food and blanket packages to residents in worst-hit areas of the commune of Novesele, in the southern Albanian city of Vlora.
Fears that flood defences around the city of Vlora could  fail were especially acute. In just two days, 220mm of rain fell in nearby Gjirokaster – the usual amount for the whole of February.
In Novosela, where the Vjosa river burst its banks on Sunday, expansive shards of waters are still strewn across agricultural plains.
The situation was expected to become more critical, based on weather forecasts, which seemed not to have any improvements in the following days. No fewer than 5 thousand people live in the flooded areas in the south, from Gjirokastra in Vlora.
The floods were caused by the emergence of the river bed Vjosë after heavy rain storm. Tens of homes and other objects and several thousand hectares of land were flooded in different areas in the south of Albania. Many residents were evacuated by authorities to escape from danger.
Flood damages in hectares of land are incalculable. Meanwhile, the institutions and Health authorities were on duty to help in coping with the situation.

The Civil Protection structure MNSH (Relief Organisation Malteser Ndihmon ne Shqiperi) was very active during the emergency response of the present flood catastrophe, offering its services to population in need.
The first actions of MNSH will be: distribution of food and sanitary items, sleeping materials, heaters, kitchen equipments, to families affected. Medicines and medical visits will be offered too.
The second direction of MNSH support will focus on:  drinking water monitoring and special laboratory analyses of drinking water in different affected areas. This is very important because there will be the possibility to inform population on quality of drinking water. Technicians and specialists will be sent to the most affected areas to support the population thered , offering their specialist advice on cleaning, disinfecting the water wells, pumping stations.
The third direction of MNSH support will focus on: education/training, information on Emergency Preparedness and Response, preparation and distribution of information leaflets for the people, information for pupils in the schools through training, workshops/conferences with Regional Prefecture  and representatives of communes. The State Health Education department will cooperate to organize training sessions with pupils in schools in the affected zones but also in the North Albania

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant fo this project that will help the population to face the emergency situation due to the heavy flood which occurred in the Country. Around 180 families will be secured with emergency packs as first aid.

Dioqeza Sapes – Sapes Diocese
Sheshi “Nena Tereze”
Kisha Katolike
Vau-Dejes - Albania

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