EDIT NIKOLLI

On the second academic year since the earthquake of November 26, 2019, the promises for the rebuilding of 143 schools and the reconstruction of the damaged ones are yet to be fulfilled. Faktoje checked 12 educational buildings in the municipalities of Shijak, Kamza, Kurbin, Kavaja and Rrogozhina, which were planned to be rebuilt or reconstructed. The Milot 9-year school represents the peak of dragging the rebuilding process of the educational buildings we checked. Not only is the damaged building not being reconstructed, but half of it is being used as a health center, since the existing health center was severely damaged by the earthquake.

————————————————————————————————

“Schools, kindergartens, hospitals and health centers which are out of order will be rebuild from scratch until next September. In the new 2020-2021 academic year, the children studying in ruined schools will begin classes in new schools, in way better conditions than before the earthquake”- vowed Prime Minister Rama in a press release by the end of 2019, when the damages caused by the major earthquake of November 26. On March 12, the government approved through a DCM a fund of 7.9 billion ALL for the rebuilding program for 59 schools.

A few days later, BE and UNDP allocated the fund of 15 million euro for the rebuilding of 22 new schools in the framework of the process whereas on April 24 2020 the government announced the start of the operation for 103 schools.

In the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year, Faktoje stated that no one of the 143 schools in the municipalities struck by the earthquake (Tirana, Durrës, Kavaja, Kruja, Shijak, Kurbin planned for reconstruction didn’t open their doors last year, as the academic year progressed mostly through online platforms and blended learning, due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister did not hesitate to repeat his vow that these schools would be ready for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Post by Prime Minister Rama

Since August last year to up to date, Faktoje has identified  several unkept promises regarding rebuilding deadlines for the schools in the municipalities struck by the earthquake.

By the end of August, Faktoje decided to proceed to the next check on the progress of the rebuilding and reconstruction process of educational objects in some of the municipalities where the schools damaged by the earthquake should have been completed.

Before moving to the ground, Faktoje checked the Decisions of the Council of Ministers on the allocation of state budget funds on the rebuilding and reconstruction of schools in 10 municipalities for the year of 2021 and identified several of them.

Table generated by Faktoje with DCMs from 2021, Rebuilding and reconstruction of schools struck by natural disasters.

We first went to the Milot high school, part of the Kurbin municipality; a school which was damaged by the earthquake of November 26 and that according to the document available by Faktoje has been allocated 53 million and 367 thousand ALL for the reconstruction together with the 9-year school.

Milot high school, Kurbin municipality

At the school, we concluded that the intervention for reconstruction is yet to begin.

The environment within the Milot high school, third floor of the building

The third floor of the building is out of order due to many infrastructural damages, which makes having classes impossible.

“We have been told that they will intervene in the reconstruction of two educational buildings in Milot, but nothing has been done so far.”-Faktoje was told by the people guarding the building.

Milot 9-year school

We continued our inquiry in the Milot 9-year school. By the conversation we had with the people in the building we confirmed that despite the obvious damages, the learning process would still continue there.

Milot 9-year school

The building of the Milot 9-year school has been divided in two parts; classes are being conducted in one and the rest serves as a health center, since the existing one is out of order since the November 2019 earthquake.

We also went to the “16 shtatori” high school, which according to an official response by ADF is fully completed, together with Muçaj kindergarten and kindergarten no. 1. According to ADF the entire project cost 137 361 200 ALL.

16 September high school, Shijak

By our inquiry on the ground it turns out that the school has indeed been completed.

“Aleksander Moisiu” school, Kavaja Municipality

By the end of August, Faktoje went to the “Aleksandër Moisiu” school in Kavaja, the building is still being reconstructed. According to the workers on the field, work on the field was supposed to be completed by September, whereas it would take some more time to complete the outdoor infrastructure and the gym.

“Aleksandër Moisiu” school is among the list with 9 schools in the Kamza/Kavaja municipalities, planned to be reconstructed for the total of 244 billion and 685 991 million ALL.

We searched for the works’ table on the site as defined by law, but we couldn’t find one.

“Qamil Gjuzi” 9-year school, Rrogozhina municipality

We went to the “Qamil Gjuzi” school in the Rrogozhina municipality which according to the DCM is an educational building that will be rebuilt together with the Lekaj school, with funds amounting to 62 039 042 ALL. From the outside the school does not give the impression of a building which needs rebuilding; in the meanwhile the mother of two students who used to go there told us the following:

“I have two children in this school, there haven’t been any damages from the earthquake and to my knowledge it hasn’t been rehabilitated.”

Lekaj school was also an existing building which is planned to be reconstructed and up to the moment when we went to check there were no signs of an intervention.

We went on to check the “Qamil Xhani” school in the Kavaja municipality, which is included in the list of the 9 schools of the Kamza/Kavaja municipalities.

Reconstruction of the “Qamil Xhani” school

The works have begun in June this year and according to the deadline on the site’s table it is presumed it will end before spring next year.

Reconstruction table at the “Qamil Xhani” school, Kavaja municipality

No interventions were made in the Zallmner daycare, Kamza municipality, even though the building is on the DCM list for rebuilding with funds foreseen at the amount of 67 638 407 ALL from the state budget.  Some of the employees at the daycare, which wish to remain anonymous, confirmed the following:

“The third floor is out of order, because there are many damages, the plaster on the walls has fallen, we can’t use the children’s bathrooms because they need intervention. We have been told that they have prepared a plan and there will be an intervention, but we don’t know when they will start”.

Zallmner daycare, Kamza

We continued with the on-ground check at the “Kamza e Re” 9-year school.

“Kamza e Re” 9-year school

Kamza e re school is on its way to completion, it should be ready to accommodate students within September. We have worked long hours to finish it on time” -stated for Faktoje the engineer overseeing the implementation of the project.

Reconstruction table of the “Kamza e Re” 9-year school, August 26, 2021

In Velias, part of the Kamza municipality, the works for the rebuilding of the “Niko Hoxha” school, amounting to 190 million ALL, are far from over.

“Niko Hoxha” 9-year school, Valias

This site lacked the table with the data on the project and the deadline for the works.

“Isa Boletini” high school

Faktoje went at the “Isa Boletini” high school in Kamza, which is among the list of buildings for reconstruction. From the observation on the ground, even though the works were moving forward, the reconstruction is far from meeting its September 27, deadline.

The people responsible for the implementation of the project refused to say when the works were supposed to finish, whereas the table at the construction site shows that it has a 5 month deadline.

The reconstruction project table at the “Isa Boletini” high school, Kamza

“Ibrahim Rugova” high school, Kamza municipality

The last educational building was the “Ibrahim Rugova” high school, also located in Kamza, which is under reconstruction with a fund at the amount of 178 500 00 ALL from the state budget. Even here, the workers on the ground couldn’t guarantee whether the school would be operational on September 27; nevertheless they confirmed that they were working on full capacity.

This issue was published with the financial support of the Embassy of the United States of America and its affiliates. The responsibilities regarding the content are solely Faktoje’s and do not reflect the views of the Embassy of the United States of America and its affiliates.