EU Flood Protection Infrastructure Project

What is the Project About?


On January 31, 2015, continuous rainfall began and lasted for about a week, causing an unprecedented rise of water levels in the southwest part of the country. Floods affected especially areas along the streams of the Vjosa, Drino, Osumi and Gjanica rivers with the most serious situation observed in Vlora and Fieri districts in South Albania.
Given the situation, the Government requested international support for emergency assistance and soon later for recovery and reconstruction needs. By mid-February, the EU, UN and WB jointly engaged in the development of a simplified post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) in coordination with relevant line ministries and central level agencies and especially the Ministry of Economy, the latter being in charge of coordinating the government assessment. As per the government request, the needs assessment focused on the most severely impact sectors of agriculture, irrigation and drainage and flood protection infrastructure, although it gave account for other sectors as well with an emphasis on strengthening of the early warning, preparedness and response systems.
The PDNA report was officially presented in April 2015 and provided (i) an impact and needs assessment across key affected sectors, (ii) a preliminary recovery strategy, and (iii) a roadmap that prioritizes early, medium and long-term needs. As per the PDNA findings, a total of 9 regions and 53 municipalities  were affected by the floods. The total population in the flooded areas amounts 397.316 persons. Around 12,225 ha of arable and planted land were submerged, affecting crops at various stages of development. Approximately 15,000 farming households were affected and 9,992.6 ha of agriculture land damaged.
The PDNA Report estimated the damages, losses and immediate needs to EUR 110 million. The underlying reasons explaining the extent of the floods do not rely exclusively on the excessive rainfall, compounded by a rapid melting of snow caps due to an also abnormal warm temperature, but also relate to environmental degradation, intrusion and lack of appropriate watersheds management, lack of risk assessment in land use and settlements, and social vulnerabilities of the affected regions.

Based on the PDNA findings, the EU enabled the re-programming of part of its past IPA allocation to Albania for assisting the recovery effort and aimed at (i) restoration of flood control infrastructure, (ii) upgrading civil defense preparedness, and (iii) recovering agricultural productive capacities.

The first component of this intervention is implemented by UNDP. It consists of rehabilitation of priority infrastructure such as: reconstruction/rehabilitation of river embankments and damaged irrigation & drainage channels.
UNDP acts as the implementing partner and adds to the Action, inclusive to additional own resources, the social and environmental angle of raising awareness and providing capacity building for strengthened resilience through participation, social inclusion and integration of climate change adaptation measures in local development planning. In this context and in response to the first component of the EU funding, the overall objective of the Project is to contribute to the Government of Albania post-disaster recovery efforts and the sustainable restoration of community livelihoods in the flood-affected areas, in line with the post-disaster needs assessment – PDNA – report.

The intended impact of the Project will be felt across a number of areas, including agriculture, local governance, and livelihoods.    “to strengthen resilience and disaster risk preparedness and prevention in southeast Albania in line with the post-disaster needs assessment report prepared by Government of Albania with support from the European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations in Albania following the February 2015 floods.

The Project works to:

1.    Restore key flood protection infrastructure to pre-floods levels so as to ensure protection of agricultural land and livelihoods and enable the resumption of economic activities and agricultural production in the identified priority regions of Vlore, Fier, Gjirokaster Berat and Korca.

2.    Reconstruct 17 selected flood-affected infrastructures consisting mainly of 16 kilometers of river embankments and irrigation & drainage channels and the rehabilitation of the Akerni pumping station.
3.    Raise awareness among local authorities about specific social impacts of disasters on vulnerable categories and strengthen participatory preparedness and resilience capacities that respond to community expectations.
4.     Assess the impact of floods on vulnerable groups, gather community perspectives on ways to cope with disasters and strengthen resilience, identify major expectations of those vulnerable groups for public action and feed such assessment and findings into the local decision making levels for improved and socially targeted preparedness, response and development.

5.    Raise awareness among local government actors, relevant institutions and communities in Vjosa about climate related risks and the need undertake adaptive measures.  

What have we achieved so far?

Construction work has already been completed  in the affected programme areas. 

Who finances it?

Donor Year  Total Amount
European Union 2015 6 M Euros
UNDP 2015 300.000 Euros

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