Albania

Albania: Flooding Appeal No. 27/02 Final Report

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published

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Appeal No. 27/02; launched on 1 October, 2002 for 3 months for CHF 571,000 to assist 20,000 beneficiaries.

Summary

The worst flooding in years hit the Albanian lowlands in September following a week of torrential rain. The Albanian Red Cross (ARC) warned that the consequences could be catastrophic for thousands of rural people. The heavy rains lasted for one week, leading to pumps at draining stations in lowland areas being less effective, partly as a result of electricity cuts, and dikes being broken in almost all affected areas. The uncontrolled migration and settling of people during the past decade in high risk lowland areas without proper studies from the authorities exacerbated the situation.

Five prefectures, especially Lezha prefecture were hit by the substantial flooding. The assessment of damage and needs done by the ARC showed that beside the infrastructure damage, the types of damage that affected families included collapsed and partially damaged houses, ruined furniture, drowned livestock, destroyed food reserves and destroyed livestock food.

The overall goal of the emergency appeal concentrated on the distribution of basic food and non food items to the most affected families in the first month of the emergency and then for the recovery phase over two months. A total of 3,820 beneficiaries were selected for high priority assistance.

The relief operation, as a response to the flooding and to help affected families ,is already completed. The Emergency Appeal was fully covered, and the CHF 17,367 remaining is being used to assist and support the ARC by reimbursing the account used for maintaining emergency stocks. In addition, there was excellent support in-country. The new ARC organisational structure got further experience in responding to this medium scale flooding emergency.

Coordination

Coordination was considered important. Initially the ARC contacted the Directorate for Emergency at the Ministry of Local Government to tell them related actions. Information was exchanged and reports on relief items distributed. Representatives of the ARC at the local level (5 branches and 10 sub-branches) became members of Emergency Committees set up for this situation. Co-ordination and exchange of information between ARC and the other actors, Civil Protection Base, World Vision, Caritas, ADRA, ensured no overlapping of work.

An important fact was the large number of donors who supported the appeal. Some contributions came with conditionality and this did cause occasional problems. One problem was occasional donations required immediate purchase of items but ARC rules often prevented that (ie the following of tendering processes). Frequent communication and coordination with each donor was needed and at the same time coordination with all contributions from governmental structures. Cooperation was organised with the delegations of PNSs present in the country to ensure their assistance.

Due to strong donor support - as well as successful local fund raising - the overall appeal coverage was. Funds were received from various Embassies and Government Agencies in Tirana (USAID, Canadian Embassy, UNDP,Danish Embassy, Albanian Bank Association).Support was also received through Red Cross National Societies including the Finnish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese, Monaco and Polish Red Cross, and United Arab Emirates and Iranian Red Crescent. A contribution in kind was received from OFDA through American Red Cross.

Objectives, activities and results

Relief distribution of food and basic non-food items

Objective 1: Distribute basic food and non-food items to 3,820 vulnerable families in five prefectures during the first month of the emergency

A managing group had already been set up to start implementing the relief operation. The first month, or first phase, covered the basic needs and all items which were available at the ARC warehouse as stock of the Disaster Preparedness Programme (DPP) were distributed. This stock had been purchased at the end of the previous year, so at the end of this response operation, these stocks had to be replenished.

The following action was undertaken:

  • Guidelines for the branches and sub-branches were prepared. In these guidelines the rules that needed to be taken into consideration for the number of beneficiaries for each branch, the ration for each family, the logistic rules and the distribution procedures were specified.

  • The local branches evaluated the human resources available and other capacities needed. In this framework the secretaries of four branches played the role of coordinator of distribution in their branch. In Lezha branch another coordinator and warehouse manager were hired because of the large volume of work

  • The local branches immediately started preparing the list of beneficiaries in cooperation with Local Government and the community affected. After having the list of beneficiaries based on number of the beneficiaries for each commune a schedule for delivering respective items from Tirana to the affected branches was prepared.

  • In the most affected areas of Lezha, Laç and Berat a warehouse was rented and five ARC trucks and respective drivers transported the commodities from the Tirana warehouse to the branch rented warehouse.

  • The branches started the distributions to the beneficiaries using locally hired trucks and transport . Sometimes the trucks were used as distribution points and other times the items were unloaded and the goods distributed through distribution points (communal buildings). There were 28 distribution points in total (each village is considered as distribution point) and about 64 volunteers were involved in the distribution.

  • A daily information reporting system was set up whereby each local branch reported the volume of distributions and the number of families that had benefited. The following items were distributed in the first phase (until 28 October 2002):

Blankets
8,200
Wheat flour
77 metric tonnes
Sugar
6.6 metric tonnes
Oil
7.64 metric tonnes
Canned meat
8.2 metric tonnes
Detergent
7.6 metric tonnes
Soap
2.3 metric tonnes

These were distributed to the following prefectures:

Lezhë
2,810 families
Durres
350 families
Berat
490 families
Fier
120 families
Shkoder
50 families
Total families 3,820

The first phase of the distribution process was completed.

Objective 2: Distribute basic food and non-food supplies to 3,820 families in 5 prefectures during the recovery phase over 2 months

The ARC had already planned that the second phase should commence immediately afterwards, based on available funding from donors responding to the emergency appeal. The period was set at November 2002 - 10 February 2003. This second phase relief operation consisted of the purchase and distribution of packages on a monthly basis to vulnerable families as part of a recovery operation. Respecting the Albanian law and ARC regulations, an open tendering process took place throughout the whole of November.

The following action was undertaken:

  • In a framework of coordination with donors, the ARC made the necessary calculations for the amount of relief items needed in accordance with the contributions A RC was receiving.

  • During November 2002 all interested companies were invited, through advertisements in three daily newspapers ("Gazeta Shqiptare", "Koha Jone", "Shekulli") to place tenders

  • The selected companies delivered the items to the ARC warehouse in accordance with the agreement signed by both parties.

  • The quantities of the purchased items were:

    160 metric tonnes of wheat flour, 10 000 litres of vegetable oil, 16 metric tonnes of beans, 16 metric tonnes of sugar, 16 metric tonnes of washing powder, and 64,000 pieces of soap. A small part of these purchased items were not distributed (because the amount was supplemented form German Red Cross with 1,650 food parcels), so this left over stock will be part of DPP stock. The branch staff and involved volunteers made the revision of the list of beneficiaries.

  • Based on the relief distribution network set up in the first phase the distribution for the second phase started following the same procedures.

  • Monitoring of the operation was accomplished by ARC headquarters staff and volunteers during the distribution in the field and at the end of relief operation.
Table of items distributed during the relief operation
Affected
Areas
Distributed items
Beneficiaries
Place
Blanket
(pcs)
Wheat
flour
(Kg)
Sugar
(Kg)
Oil
(Liter)
Beans
(Kg)
Food
parcels
(pcs)
Hygienic
parcels
(Kit)
Canned
meat
(pcs)
Deter.
(Kg)
Soap
(pcs)
Nr.
families
Nr.per
Lezha
11,500
168,000
12,860
12,860
7240
1000
8430
14,050
14,050
44,960
2,810
14,565
Berat
2,100
29,400
2,940
2,940
1960
1470
2,450
2,450
7,840
490
2,690
Durres
1,400
21,000
2,100
2,100
1400
1050
1,750
1,750
5,600
350
1,674
Fier
480
7,200
720
720
480
360
600
600
1,920
120
722
Shkodra
200
1,100
200
200
200
150
150
250
250
800
50
375
Total
15,680
226,700
18,820
18,820
11,280
1,150
11,460
19,100
19,100
61,120
3,820
20,026

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement -- Fundamental Principles and priorities

The mission of the Red Cross in Albania, in conformity with the Fundamental Principles of the Movement, strives to improve the life and dignity of people in need, by working together to increase humanitarian action. This is in compliance with the mission of the Federation’s Strategy 2010 with the aim of improving the lives of the vulnerable through the mobilisation of the power of humanity in law.

The two major goals of the ARC are to develop its Disaster Preparedness programme and to increase the effectiveness of Albanian Red Cross intervention in local disasters. To fulfil these goals, the national society has planned to implement over the next two years a number of projects including proactive responses such as the current response to emergency phase one. A national strategy has been developed over the past two years and is currently being followed by national and regional branch offices.

National Society Capacity Building

The flood response activities happened at the time when implementation of the new organisational structure was taking place. This consists of changing the thirty six local committees in to twelve branches and thirty nine sub branches. Five branches and ten sub branches of the ARC have been involved in this relief operation.

Besides the other aspects outlined, this response to the flooding emergency was considered a working simulation for ARC branches and sub branches. The ARC found that most of the branch and sub branch councils (elected bodies) took good decisions, especially in approving the list of beneficiaries and keeping strong contacts with local authorities.

Also, the DPP teams in ten sub branches, composed of 15-20 volunteers fulfilled the tasks according to the training they had received and the ARC role and responsibilities in emergency situations. The tasks were to conduct preliminary needs assessment, prepare the list of beneficiaries, follow the distribution procedures, distribute the items to the affected families and primary care for the people evacuated to the collective centres.

Assessment and lessons learned

The relief operation achieved both the objectives the ARC had established for the emergency flooding situation. The emergency appeal was fully covered by various international donors. There was also strong support from within the country.

Many donors put different conditions and deadlines on contributions, bringing some difficulties in coordination. After confirming their contribution to the appeal, each wanted to begin by purchasing the items at once. However the ARC did not proceed separately and instead organised a tendering process after receiving all donor contributions and plans of the relief items distributions.

Beside financial contributions, contributions in kind were also received, which brought some confusion in distributing the foreseen ration s to each family. In this case the ARC distributed these contributions only in some flooding affected areas, adding the items to the ration tha t was already allocated to flood affected families.

Part of the in kind contributions was problematic.The H ygiene Institute found out fromanal ysis that some of the food was not fit for human consumption. The ARC stored these parcels in its own warehouses and contacted the donor to find a solution.

Since the Law of Civil Emergency came into force in Albania, permanent structures are set up at central and local level. The ARC representatives are members of Emergency Committees at both levels and the last relief operation was proof of the good will that exists from both sides. The image of the ARCas an important actor in humanitarian action was raised. The ARC confirmed its im portant role in emergency response.

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