MARJO BRAKAJ

On Tuesday, 15 September, the 80-year old Besnike Mixhidja was ready to enter her new home and was waiting for its inauguration by the Prime Minister. However, what she did not know was that Mr. Rama was not in Albania. Besnike’s home was the first, among the 60 homes to be reconstructed in Rrubjen unit, Maminas. During our fact-checking, we were informed that the surface area of the homes under reconstruction was reduced, as compared to their initial surface area prior to the 26 November earthquake.


On 14 August, the Minister of State for Reconstruction, Arben Ahmetaj, promised Besnike Mixhidja that her home in Rrubjek, Maminas, Shijak Municipality, which was damaged during the 26 November earthquake, would be reconstructed by 15 September.

I told Prime Minister Rama that I would meet an elderly lady living alone, and on his request, the Shijak mayor gives you his word on the day you will be able to enter your new home! –  Ahmetaj stated. In this meeting, the Shijak mayor ensured the 80-year-old that 15 September would be the day she would enter her new home.

On Tuesday, 15 September, “Faktoje” went to Rrubjek unit, Maminas, where we met the 80-year-old, Besnike Mixhidja.

Besnike’s new home was completed, but she had a strong reason not to enter yet.

The reconstructed home of the 80-year-old, Besnike Mixhidja

The reconstructed home of the 80-year-old, Besnike Mixhidja

The person in charge of the works and the 80-year-old told “Faktoje” that they were waiting for Prime Minister Rama to inaugurate the new home, but they learnt by “Faktoje” that the he was not in Albania.

“Faktoje” visited the home of the elderly lady, Hurme Bregu, which was still under reconstruction.

Hurme Bregu’s home under reconstruction

An issue emerged upon the conversation with the homeowner:

“The old home had a surface area of about 150 m2. It consisted of 5 rooms, because my son lives with us too. Yes, the home is indeed smaller, but they should complete the reconstruction process, to say the least.” – the elderly lady, Hurme Bregu, told “Faktoje”, adding that the old house occupied almost the whole surface area where the works were taking place.

Hurme Bregu’s home under reconstruction

As can been viewed on the pictures, the ruins of the old home are visible on the side of the new building.

“They still haven’t installed doors and windows. I paid for the removal of the old building ruins myself. It cost me 12,000 ALL, which my neighbors lent me. The workers left my home like this 4-5 days ago and they haven’t come back yet.” – the elderly lady, Hurme Bregu, added.

According to residents, in addition to homes being transformed into construction sites, the reconstruction process in Maminas is very slow.

Construction site in Maminas

Shijak was one of the three areas which were severely affected by the 26 November earthquake, and according to the reconstruction plan, 580 individual homes would be reconstructed from scratch, and 60 of them were located in Rrubjek unit, Maminas.