From: Alice Taylor
Albanian State Won’t Help Citizens in Elbasan and Vlora Rebuild or Repair Earthquake Damaged Homes

The Municipalities of Vlora and Elbasan have confirmed that residents with earthquake-damaged homes will have to fund repairs themselves.

In Vlora, there are 153 apartments with slight damage, light damage, and severe damage. The Municipality confirmed to Faktoje that there were no funds allocated to help citizens repair their properties.

“No family has received financial assistance from the Municipality of Vlora and these families have stated they will make the repairs themselves.”

The Municipality also confirmed that only four families received the government rental bonus. 

In Elbasan, 146 dwellings were damaged as a result of the earthquake. Again, the Municipality said that none of those affected would receive any financial assistance as the state of natural disaster did not reach the region.

In Thumane, residents accused the government of distributing earthquake money to those not impacted by the quake.

“The state has done nothing. Those who are building villas, who don’t even have a scratch on their home, have received money” said one citizen, Lirie Xhixha.

The woman has been living in a tent for over 10 months and hasn’t had any support from the government.

“We are sleeping outside on the veranda with our problems. The state knows but the state has not done anything, nothing! We go to the municipalities but do not find justice,” she said.

Another citizen in Kurbin said that they’ve ben living in tents for nine months and that his child is ill, suffering from asthma.

Viktor Gjoni from Fushe Miloti said: “Noone asks if we are alive or not. I’ve lived in a tent for nine months, the children are sick. We are in God’s hands.”

He was given 5 million ALL by the state but says this is not enough to even construct a roof.

Exit visited some of the severely impacted areas shortly after the November earthquake. Journalists received multiple reports of assistance being given to those with political affiliation to the Socialist Party. Following Exit’s expose, one individual received assistance but was told to “stop complaining to the media”.

In February, a total of EUR 1.15 billion was pledged to Albania in donations, grants, and loans to help the country rebuild from the aftermath of the quake that claimed 51 lives and made thousands homeless. To date, no schools have been rebuilt, many are still in tents or damaged homes, and only one single house- in Farke- has been reconstructed.