From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Alliance for Protection of the Theatre to Build Temporary Homes for Earthquake Survivors

The Alliance for the Protection of the National Theatre has announced they will build temporary houses for those affected by the earthquake, using funds donated to them by citizens.

Since the 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Albania on the 26 November, the Alliance supported by around 200 volunteers have collected, sorted, and distributed over 40 tonnes of food, clothing, blankets, and mattresses donated by over 9000 people.

Last night, they announced via Facebook that they had taken the unanimous decision to use the money they have collected to build container homes that will enable those affected by the earthquake to remain on their land and next to their home and to allow them to begin post-earthquake life.

Today, the Alliance for the Protection of the Theater unanimously decided that the little money secured by monetary donations of citizens, recorded in transparency, be used to build containers – TEMPORARY POST-HOUSES until the reconstruction of houses, as a model that we suggest that it be followed by the government and all donors.

These homes enable those affected by the earthquake to remain in their home and land, in contact with their property, in working condition, ready to begin post-earthquake life,” said the statement.

They called on the government and NGOs to follow their model until permanent accommodation can be constructed.

At the time of writing it is believed that over 5000 Albanians are displaced, either due to their homes being destroyed, damaged, or due to fear and uncertainty about the safety of returning home. Some are in hotels, others in tent camps, but many are still out in the open or in makeshift accommodation.

The Alliance added that over the following days they will provide details on the process of realising the project including the placement and location of the units. They confirmed that they have ordered a number of containers and the order is due to be delivered “in a few days”.

The Alliance was formed over 18 months ago as a response to the government’s plans to demolish the National Theatre and sell off the public land to private companies for development. In a deal shrouded by controversy and alleged illegality, the group comprised of actors, writers, activists, academics, and members of the public have protested peacefully every day at the theatre, as well as organising cultural events and shows.