7 families of a building damaged by earthquake in Lezha have no roof over their head. Building 71 in ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ street was demolished two years ago, however reconstruction works have not started yet. The process has been held hostage to the implementation of reconstruction agreement by Firdeus Foundation due to non-agreement among parties. Faktoje was told by Lezha Municipality that case has been addressed to the government, while the affected families are being treated with rent bonus.
Lezha Municipality was one of most affected areas by the earthquake of 26th of November 2019. This Municipality reports 246 homeless families, among whom are the inhabitants of a three-floor building in the center of Lezha. Damage of the building 71 in ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ street left seven Lezha families without a roof over their heads.
Three months following the earthquake, during a extraordinary meeting of Lezha Municipal Council, the Mayor, Mr. Pjerin Ndreu, promised the reconstruction of building 71 in “Besëlidhja” neighbourhood.
|Municipality of Lezha
February 5, 2020
Extraordinary meeting of Lezha Municipal Council where 3 decisions were made. Decision to demolish two buildings (building 88 in Skerderbeg neighborhood and building at BKT) damaged by earthquake of 26th of November 2019 thus paving the way to reconstruction of two new buildings funded by Lezha Municipality. / Approval of third lists of families benefiting rent bonus (27 families).
Four years from this promise, the families of this building keep being at a crossroad.
Reconstruction has not started
This November again, our on-site verification showed that nothing has changed after demolition of the building still waiting to be rebuild.
Lezhe, 21st of November
Municipality is not able to give a deadline about when works can start even now, 4 years later, since the tragic earthquake. According to the Municipality, the deadlock is due to a lack of funding. Reconstruction of building 71 in Lezha has been held hostage to implementation of the argreement with Firdeus Foundation, who took rebuiding over. Parties have not reached an agreement.
‘Lezha Municipality has signed a cooperation agreement between “Firdeus” Foundation and Lezha Municipality on “Construction of Section 1 of Building 71 (former BKT) in ‘Besëlidhja’ neighborhood, ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ street, of Lezha City” and with Decision No. 53, dated on 31.05.2022 Lezha Municipal Council has given consent to conclude the cooperation agreement thereof. As far as reconstruction of building in ‘Besëlidhja’ neighborhood is concerned, we inform you that no agreement for its construction has been reached.’, the Municipality argues.
To learn more about the reasons of this deadlock, Faktoje addressed a request for information to Firdeus Foundation and to its Director, Mr. Elvis Naçi. We haven’t got an answer by the time this article is published.
“To solve this issue, Lezha Municipality has continued communication with the line ministry on continuation of procedures for the construction of the building.”, Lezha Municipality explains adding that affected families are being treated with rent bonus.
“As regards the rent bonus, it is currently being allocated to families damaged by the earthquake of 26th of November 2019, specifically, 7 (seven) families are being treated with rent bonus in building no. 71, out of whom 2 (two) families are in the reinforcement section and 5 (five) families in the reconstruction section.’
Half of another building damaged by the earthquake four years ago is next to the demolished object in “Luigj Gurakuqi” street. In the morning of 21st of November, work continued to reinforce the building.
Lezhe, 21st of November
Reinforcement of the building was recommended by the Construction Institute since December 2020. According to Lezha Municipality tender, reinforcement works of this building should have been completed in May 2022. However, even this process had violation of deadlines.
“Reinforcement intervention works of half of the damaged building in ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ street are in the final phase.”, Lezha Municipality stated officially.
The unbuilt building in Lezha Center has become a subject of discussions even in Lezha Municipal Council meetings. The Member of Democratic Party, Mrs. Alfrida Marku says that she raised the issue several times as a concern.
“I have asked representatives of Lezha Municipality for explanation several times, however there has been no transparency from the latter. Furthermore, by means of an official letter, I have requested the Mayor to report in Lezha Municipal Council on the reconstruction process and there has still been no transparency and accountability.”, she states for Faktoje adding:
“This is the letter submitted to the Municipality on 17th of November. The request to be included in the agenda of meeting on 30th of November was declined in the meeting of the Presidency of the Council on November 23.’
|(emblem) No. 12346 prot.
Republic of Albania On 17.11.2023
LEZHA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Lezhë, on 15th of November 2023
Subject: 1-Request for interpellation call of Lezha Mayor on the process of reconstruction of houses damaged by the earthquake of 26 the of November 2019.
2-Inclusion in the agenda of the next meeting this month of the discussion on the reconstruction process in Lezha
To: Chairman of Lezha Municipal Council
Legal basis: Law 139/2015 “On Local self-government”
Rules of procedure for Lezha Municipal Council approved by DMC No. 54 dated 28.4.2020, as amended.
Mr. Chairman of Municipal Council!
4 years after the earthquake of 26th of November, Lezha Municipality has not found a solution for reconstruction of building 47 in Lezha Administrative Unit and of individual houses of 41 families in other administrative units. Unjustified reconstruction delays and unequal treatment by responsible authorities have affected the quality of life of these residents.
Given the legitimate concern of the residents, I hereby request the call of Lezha May in interpellation at the next meeting of the Municipal Council to explain the reasons of these delays, the current stage of reconstruction process of these buildings and deadline of completion. For this reason, I hereby request the discussion on the reconstruction process in Lezha to be involved in the agenda of the next meeting of this month.
Member of Lezha Municipal Council
Alfrida MARKU [signature]
The letter addressed to the Chairman of Lezha Municipal Council
Based on the gathered informations and on-site verifications, we categorize the promise of Mayor of Lezha, Pjerin Ndreu, on reconstruction of building 71 in Besëlidhja neighbourhood as unfulfilled.
Faktoje, supported by National Endowment Democracy (NED) is monitoring 10 municipalities and is verifying if promises made by Mayors are fulfilled or not.