Albania: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Brief

This Bulletin No. 1/2004 is being issued for information only. The secretariat has agreed to release CHF80, 427 (USD70,242) from its disaster relief emergency fund (DREF). Partners interested in supporting this minor emergency response to the Albanian floods are urged to contact the Geneva secretariat with offers to reimburse DREF. The Federation may communicate further on behalf of the Albanian Red Cross as the situation evolves.

The Situation

Very heavy rainfall, which began on 04 December 2004 including 147mm in one night, has caused serious flooding in Shkodra Prefecture, north-west Albania. The situation has been exacerbated by other factors, including a malfunction of the manifold (piping system) due to illegal constructions, and the dike gates opening because of the high water levels.

After the gates opened, water flow increased to 1000-1200 m3/sec, compared with a safety limit of 800m3/sec.

The prefecture is also situated below three hydroelectric power dikes, which is a hazard every time the lake overfills.

In accordance with the Emergency Situation Law in Shkodra Prefecture and 5 Komunes, emergency committees were tasked to manage the situation within their respective territories. In addition, a specialist group was set up to assess the situation. The Shkodra Red Cross branch is represented on these committees.

The level of water on some roads is 1.5 m high, causing flooding to several first floor flats towns. Houses near the river banks of the Drini and Buna have been damaged.

The government immediately sent to the affected area, civil emergency troops to help evacuate some 250 families, who have been settled with relatives and neighbours.

One of the three electricity stations in the flooded area has been damaged and is non-functional. Over 50% of the town areas have had power cuts.

The situation has improved since the heavy rainfall stopped, but problems remain. Several families in two towns (Shkodra and Vau Dejes) and 4 communes of Shkodra Prefecture have suffered partial or serious damage to their homes and livelihoods, with ruined furniture, drowned livestock, destroyed food reserves, destroyed livestock food etc.

The Albanian Red Cross has followed the situation closely. A disaster coordinator in headquarters, and staff of Shkodra branch, have been in contact with local and central authorities. They have also visited the area to monitor the situation and respond as required. Lines of communication have been established to keep up with events. Guidelines for the branch and sub branches have been sent out. In total, 1,500 hectares of arable land has been destroyed. The central government immediately delivered to Shkodra prefecture 16 million Leke (approx. USD200,000) to repair manifolds and to assess losses.

Immediate needs

The Local Government, in cooperation with Shkodra RC branch, have organized a damage and needs assessment.

The assessment indicates that there are 500 families badly affected, many of whom do not have regular employment and/or have low income and rely on social assistance from the state. Specifically, the findings show that:

In the Shkodra Town 390 families are seriously affected.

In Ana e Malit Commune, Obot village, 15 family/ properties are affected/damaged. In Guri i Zi Commune 20 families/ properties affected/damaged. In Rrethina Commune 35 families/ properties affected/damaged. In Vau Dejes Town 40 families/ properties affected/damaged.

The goal of the Albanian Red Cross is to provide immediate relief to these 500 most affected families. The distribution of basic food items and non-food items by Red Cross branches to vulnerable families has began and some of the immediate needs have been addressed.

Some items, such as blankets, canned meat, sugar and soap are available as disaster preparedness (DP) stock in the warehouse, which the national society can distribute. The remainder is being purchased on the market through tendering procedures.

The contents of one package for a family is: 4 blankets, 50 kg wheat flour, 5 kg beans, 10 canned meat, 5 litres of oil, 5 kg sugar, 2 kg washing powder and 8 pieces of toilet soap and 8 pieces of clothing soap.

The Albanian Red Cross is in the process of requesting financial support from the Secretariat's dis aster relief emergency fund (DREF) for purchasing items not available in the warehouse as well as replenishing those items that have been distributed.

Funds are also being sought to cover distribution expenditures: transport, warehouse, loading and unloa ding, staff, monitoring distribution and administrative costs. The amount needed is USD65 677.

Every family will receive identical packages, as identified above. The operation is planned to last one month.

Proposed Relief Operation

Objective: Distribute basic food and non-food items to 500 vulnerable families in Shkodra Prefecture within one month.

The following activities will be undertaken to fulfil this objective.

  • Prepare guidelines for the relief operation for Red Cross branches and sub-branches
  • Prepare a list of beneficiaries with local authorities
  • Procure food and non-food items in Albania
  • Deliver food and non-food items to Shkodra RC branch warehouse.
  • Organise distribution to beneficiaries
  • Prepare system of data reporting and monitor distribution
Budget required (1USD equals 96Lek)
1 625 000 lek
Flour 25 MT x 35 000 lek =
875 000 lek
Beans 2. 5 Mt x 160 000 lek
400 000
Oil 2 500 lit x 140 lek =
350 000
For replacement
4 150 000 lek
Blankets 2000 x 1000 lek =
2 000 000 lek
Sugar 2.5 Mt x 60 000 l
150 000
Can meat 5000 pcs x 300
1 500 000
Soap 8000 x 50 lek
400 000
Detergent 1 Mt x 10 000 lek
100 000
300 000 lek
30 000 lek
Staff and monitoring
150 000 lek
50 000 lek
6 305 000 lek equal to USD65,677
(plus 6.5% PSR to a total of USD70,242)

Monitoring and Evaluation

The monitoring of emergency and recovery activities will be undertaken by DP and social coordinators in HQ in conjunction with branch secretary. Weekly field visits will be undertaken, to verify the receipt of packages by families listed as beneficiaries. Should additional needs be identified during visits, these will be recorded and reported to HQ for addressing emergency relief. Written reports will be produced by Albanian Red Cross staff with information collated during these field visits.

Throughout the emergency and recovery phases, and in particular during the distribution of packages to beneficiaries, ongoing evaluation of activities will be undertaken and reported at daily Albanian Red Cross meetings.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

  • Zamir Muca, Secretary General, Albanian Red Cross, Phone: + 355 42 25855, Email: or
  • Anja Toivola, HoRD, Regional Delegation for Central Europe, Phone: 361 2483300, Email:
  • Erja Reinikainen, Regional Officer, Europe Department, Phone : 41 22 730 43 19; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; Email:
All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at