Early in the morning Liljana quickly picked up her two little children and ran out of her house. In a few minutes the river close to her home overflowed its banks. The grown-ups in the family didn’t sleep all night because they were “watching” the river. It was 3 am when the water started flowing into the house. “We were terrified. My first thought was the safety of my children. I was afraid that the water would wipe us away,” says Liljana.
Liljana’s house, built near the riverside, wasn’t the only one flooded. Other homes were destroyed within a few hours as well. Adriana and her family members were sheltered in “Kolë Jakova” school, in Lapraka, along with three other evacuated families. In the school we met Antoneta, who was telling us that her 4 year old little nephew, Franko, almost drowned that night. “The little one was surrounded by water. I ran to pick him up and took him away.” she says. “This Sunday my daughter was supposed to get married, but the water took everything. My daughter’s dowry and my house are destroyed. I don’t know what will happen to us now,” says Antoneta and she can’t stop crying.
World Vision employees provided mattresses, blankets, duvets and food to the families in need. And that is not all. World Vision staff members are also working closely with the local authorities in these areas to ensure that proper help is provided to all children and families affected by flood. The outside temperature keeps going down and the rainfalls continue.
The overall situation
There are dozens of flooded houses all over the country. In Kurbin 20 families have been evacuated. World Vision, as part of the Emergency Task Force, is helping with food packages and other necessary items. The schools are currently closed as the roads are mostly inaccessible. World Vision staff members are in the field visiting families and assessing the needs in the affected areas: Durres, Tirana, Shkoder, Lezhe, Diber and Kurbin. World Vision is working closely with the municipalities and other institutions to provide immediate support, but also to find long term solutions.
According to the latest update from the Ministry of Agriculture the situation in Lezhe and Kurbin is deteriorating. Hundreds of hectares of land are under water. In Shkodra the Buna river is overflowing. In Lushnje there are no floods so far, but the gutters are filled up to a critical level and if it keeps raining with the same intensity, the situation will get worse.