Minister of Reconstruction Arben Ahmetaj has responded to allegations and accusations of the “forgotten families” following the 26 November earthquake
Since the earthquake struck, killing 51 and making tens of thousands of families homeless, accusations have been flying that the government has not done enough, quick enough to help those in need. Each day in the media, families are appearing and saying they are not receiving government assistance and are still living in tents or unsafe structures.
On Real Story last night, Ahmetaj said that the reason many are still living in tents is because they don’t want to move from their location. This can be due to fear of looting or because they have cattle and their livelihoods there.
Ahmetaj then singled out some of those that have spoken to the media and said that their homes are planned to be rebuilt and they have received the rental bonus. Others will be reconstructed. He then said “there are citizens that are impatient” and they should wait for the work to be completed.
This process takes time but is proceeding rapidly he said:
“There are emotional outbursts of citizens on TV that due to their emotional impatience, seem to think they’ve been neglected. I want to tell you that these are issues that don’t end in 1 or 2 day. Remember the reconstruction procedures were done from scratch- the laws from scratch, the project procurement, and the start of construction- finding the funds was a story in itself, as was the budgeting.”
He added that the government has already started handing over keys to individual homes. Ahmetaj also claimed that on 26 November, “a whole series of schools” will be handed over.
Out of the 100 plus schools that need to be rebuilt, as of 25 September, none are completed, some are still to be demolished, and others are at the rubble stage.