Hope after the earthquake: The family from Durrës reconstructs the damaged house

The family from Durrës reconstructs the damaged house
Thursday, November 26, 2020

“Today I am very happy, unlike the day when the earthquake hit and destroyed my home.  I was too scared to live in that house with my kids. The roof seemed as it was falling and the cracked walls made us fear as they would collapse on us,” begins Nazja, the mother of four children from Durrës.

Within minutes, many Albanian children and families found themselves out in the open sky, not having a roof over their head. The November 26, 2019 earthquake damaged many houses in the area of Kënetë in Durrës, including Nazie’s family. Her family describes the night of the earthquake as the most difficult moment of their lives. 

“The kids started crying out of fear and just shouting their mother’s name. They were confused and didn’t know what to do in those moments. At home I could only hear my children crying out their mother’s name for help,” – shares the father painfully.  

 They tell that all they thought in those moments was to save the children and stay close to each-other...

 "I recall the night he earthquake hit we ran outside and made sure all family members were safe and sound without thinking too much of what the earthquake had destroyed. We managed to get a few things out of the house and tried to keep the little ones warm in that cold winter night. Right away, we called our relatives to make sure everyone was well.  Once we left the house we tried to find a safe place with people nearby so that we wouldn’t be too scared,” – tells Nazije in tears while recalling the night of the earthquake.

After the earthquake, the family was sheltered temporarily in a tent in the backyard, because as she points out the children were too scared to go inside the house.
The earthquake severely damaged their home. The walls were damaged, there were cracks everywhere and the old roof looked like it would collapse at any moment.

 "When I first went to Naze’s family, I found all of them sheltered in a tent made of sheets where they stayed for 1 month in the backyard. They were very scared and wondering if one day they go back to their home. Even though they were living in difficult conditions, they had lost hope of returning to their home," - says Roza, World Vision field coordinator in Durrës.

 The engineers stated that this family’s house had average level DS3 damage. The technical report of the experts, based on the technical report issued by the Administrative Unit for the sustainability of the building, assessed that the house of the Kalia family needed immediate intervention. The roof structure was old and the earthquake aftershocks damaged it even more, making it dangerous for the family to live in there. However repairing the house for the Naze’s family still remained an issue because they were facing huge difficulties in meeting the basic needs of the family. After the earthquake, Naze’s husband couldn’t find work as the situation was very difficult, people left the city, while the majority of businesses closed for an indefinite period.

World Vision Albania in cooperation with the Municipality of Durrës, Kurbin, Lezha and Kamza provided support to 27 families affected by the earthquake, including the Kalia family. Based on the evaluation report by the experts, they were assisted with the necessary materials to start the reconstruction of their houses.

"Without your help, we would never have been able to fix the house because we couldn’t even afford to buy the materials. Thanks to your help, we managed to repair the damages in only 4 weeks and now we live safely in our house, where the traces of the earthquake do not remind us of those frightening moments for our children and ourselves as well,” -  says Naze.

Now, they live in their renovated house whist being part of 1019 families that World Vision Albania has supported with food and hygiene packages in the 4 municipalities most affected as a result of the emergency situation caused by the earthquake and aftershocks on 26 November 2019.