Albania

Albania - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2002/0203
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Albania - Floods
27 September 2002

This report is based upon information from the Albanian Government and the office of the UN Resident Coordinator, Tirana.

1. BACKGROUND/EVENTS

During the period between September 21 and September 26, heavy rains, up to 230 ml per m2 in less than 24 hours (2 months of average rainfall), have resulted in flooding in 11 prefectures. Damage has been caused to private houses and businesses, roads, bridges, pumping stations, dykes, electrical power stations and transformers, schools, hospitals and other important infrastructure. Over 26,000 hectares of land have been inundated with resulting losses in agriculture. Overall losses are amounting to 17,5 million US Dollars according to Government estimates on September 25. The worst affected areas are Lezha and Shkoder in the North-West. Gjirokaster and Berat in the South-Western part of the country have also been heavily affected. All of these prefectures have at least temporarily been cut off from electricity and water supply.

There is an immediate concern about the safety of drinking water in some prefectures. Throughout the country several villages cannot be accessed by road. Some rural households that are involved in semi-subsistent agricultural production have lost winter stocks including animal feed. While the situation is dynamic, as rains continue and damage-assessments have not been completed, initial figures speak of 15,727 flooded private houses. Out of these 101 are heavily damaged, i.e., no longer usable, and 3,353 have experienced medium-level damage.

9,507 people had to be at least temporarily evacuated from their homes and 45 people were rescued. 3,910 people remain in temporary shelter (mostly with relatives) at this point in time with 2,900 in Lezhe alone. Overall the number of people affected is estimated at 66,884 including those whose houses have been lightly damaged. No casualties or missing person are reported.

2. NEEDS

The Albanian Government appeals for international assistance in the form of food items such as oil, rice, pasta, sugar and flour; and portable beds, mattresses, bed sheets, tents, clothing, blankets and detergents. A detailed list is available upon request from the Director of Planning and Coordination in the Ministry of Local Government (see below).

3. NATIONAL RESPONSE

The Prime Minister initially declared a State of Natural Disaster in nine provinces which remains active in Shkoder and Lezhe provinces today. An emergency committee has been established at the central level comprised of all line-ministries and led by the Prime Minister. Similar integrated commissions have been established at prefecture and commune/municipality levels. Military and other operational forces (number: 2450) have been deployed to clear national roads, reinforce dykes and restore electricity and water supply. The Albanian Red Cross has distributed 450 blankets and 1 ton of tinned food-supplies to flood victims. State Reserves have distributed 25,000 loaves of bread to affected cities.

1 million Euros have been allocated by the Albanian parliament for works on irrigation and drainage networks in the flood-affected areas. Private business and the Chamber of Commerce have contributed in kind (food items) and cash assistance.

The Government contact persons are as follows, with the operational point of contact being listed first:

Mr. Bujar Kapllani
Ministry of Local Government and Decentralization
Tel/ Fax: (4) 233 542,
E-Mail: Ercarmen@yahoo.com

Mr. Andi Nano
Ministry of Economy
Tel: (4) 240 363/ 340 362, Fax: (4) 228 362,
E-Mail: anminek@yahoo.com

4. INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

A request for international assistance has been made by the Government.

The Greek Government has delivered 80 tents, 500 blankets, which have been immediately distributed in Shkoder prefecture.

The Italian KFOR contingent has brought in a consignment of 10 trucks containing 2.471 blankets, 340 mattresses, 102 beds and 5 tons of food items.

The Italian Government has pledged to support the rehabilitation of the Electricity Network KESH with 1.5 - 2 million Euro.

The Turkish Government is supplying 50 tents, 1,480 blankets, 34 boxes of food items for 100 families.

The Swiss Government is supporting the rehabilitation of infrastructure, schools, health centers in the prefectures of Lezha and Shkodra.

The Czech Republic has pledged 30,000 USD fund for affected people.

For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, on relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.

OCHA is in close contact with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania and will revert with further information, as it becomes available.

This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. Stephen Tull, Mr. Dusan Zupka
Direct Tel. +41-22-917-3168

Press contact:
(GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) - Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.