Albania: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 2

Situation Report
Originally published
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.
In Brief

This Bulletin No. 2/2004 is being issued for information only. The secretariat has agreed to release CHF 80,427 (USD 70,242) 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 Albanian Red Cross response to the severe flooding that has affected 500 families in Shkodra Prefecture , north-west Albania, is picking up and relief is beginning to reach those in need. The worst impact of the flooding has subsided but the lingering effect on the population remains.

The situation was at its most extreme for 24 hours, after that the rain stopped and the water was drawn off. The evacuated 250 families returned to their homes and started cleaning up the mud and collecting their remaining personal belongings.

The mayor of Shkodra town decided to demolish the illegal constructions set up on the manifolds (piping and drainage system). These constructions had contributed to the malfunctioning of the manifolds. In addition, the local government immediately initiated cleaning of the manifolds. The Electro-Energy Corporate of Albania (EAC) has already repaired one of the electricity stations damaged by the floods and it is functioning now.

A commission of specialists - comprising local government, the community, the Red Cross and other organizations - has assessed the destruction. It has prepared a list of repair works, on the drainage system in the communes and to a bridge at Mnele-Vig-Hajmel. The commission has requested additional support from central government.

Albanian Red Cross

The goal of the Albanian Red Cross at the first stage of the operation was to provide immediate relief to the 500 most affected families. The distribution of basic food items and non-food items by Red Cross branches to vulnerable families has begun and some immediate needs have been addressed.

An emergency group has been set up at the national society headquarters. The group was notified of the release of funds (CHF 80,427) from the secretariat's disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) and has started to progress on the relief operation.

The disaster preparedness coordinator of Albanian Red Cross headquarters has prepared guidelines for the Shkodra Red Cross branch and sub-branch involved in the operation. These guidelines specify the beneficiary selection criteria (families who have been seriously affected and who are poor), the number of beneficiaries, the ration for each family, and distribution procedures.

The Shkodra branch has composed a list of beneficiaries in conjunction with the commission of specialists. The local sub-branch is evaluating the human resources required for the operation. The necessary arrangements for transportation of items are being made.

A media release is being prepared. In addition, a daily reporting system has been set up between Shkodra branch and the headquarters. This will enable the monitoring of distributions and the number of beneficiaries reached. Monitoring will be conducted by Albanian Red Cross headquarters staff. The assistance provided is based on the Albanian Red Cross Disaster Plan. It will be coordinated with local government and other Non-Governmental Organizations.

Other NGOs, such as OXFAM and MALTESER, are interested in repairing the drainage system at the communes and providing support to affected families respectively.


Flooding began after very heavy rainfall on 04 December 2004. The water level on some roads rose to 1.5 m high, flooding several first floor flats. Houses near the river banks of the Drini and Buna were damaged. The government immediately sent civil emergency troops to the affected area.

An initial assessment indicated that 500 families were badly affected:

- In the Shkodra Town 390 families are seriously affected.

- In Ana e Malit Commune, Obot village, 15 families/ properties are affected/damaged.

- In Gurii Zi Commune 20 families/ properties affected/damaged.

- In Rrethina Commune 35 families/ properties affected/damaged.

- In Vau Dejes Town 40 families/ properties affected/damaged.

In total, 1,500 hectares of arable land was destroyed. The central government delivered to Shkodra prefecture 16 million Leke (approx. USD 200,000) to repair manifolds and to assess losses.

Some relief items needed, such as blankets, canned meat, sugar and soap, are in the national society's disaster preparedness (DP) stock. The remainder is being purchased on the market through tendering procedures.

The contents of one relief 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.

To access information bulletin no.1, please click below:


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