The EU Strengthens its Support to Flood Risk Management in Albania
The EU continues strengthening its support to the management of flood risk in Albania as a new Technical Assistance project, worth over €2 million has been launched. Building on the work of the EU funded PRONEWS Project which amongst others produced flood hazard maps for the most exposed areas in the country, the new assignment will support the preparation of Flood Risk Management Plans and Flood Risk Maps in five river basins: Erzen, Ishem, Shkumbin, Seman and Vjosa Rivers, as well as feasibility studies for specific flood protection measures. The assistance will contribute significantly to improve the management of flood risks in accordance with the European Floods Directive, and towards formulating measures for the reduction in damage caused by flooding.
A team of international and national experts from IPF10 will support the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), established within the Directorate of Conception and Feasibility of Projects of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in partnership with the Water Resource Management Agency (AMBU), to develop the plans and studies, thereby preparing future flood management measures and investment in the five basins.
The total project cost is estimated at €105 million, forecasted to be financed through a loan of some €51 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB), further technical assistance and investment grants from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), as well as some National Contribution.
Konstantinos Mastrogiannopoulos, CFA, European Investment Bank, said: “The commencement of the technical assistance is an important milestone towards ensuring prevention of flooding events and sustainability of several economic activities in the project area. We look forward to its timely implementation.”
Hubert Perr, new Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Albania, said: “Flood is the first natural hazard in Albania and the EU has continuously supported Albania in the last decade with emergency assistance through the European civil protection mechanism and with flood recovery and preparedness projects through the Instrument of Pre-Accession (IPA) national and regional funds and Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) funding. This new EU project is key to Albania as it will aim at improving flood management and protection in 60% of the national territory, while supporting Albania progress towards aligning with the EU water acquis”.
Elisa Teneqexhi, Director - Directorate of Conception and Feasibility of Projects, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “Management of flood risk is a high priority for Albania, and particularly for us in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. We welcome the commencement of this important assignment and look forward to working with IPF10 to achieve successful outcomes.”
Mario Ortner, IPF10 Team Leader, said: “IPF10 is delighted to have been invited to undertake this challenging and important assignment. Flooding continues to threaten Albania’s social, cultural and economic well being, and we look forward to partnering with MARD, AMBU, the European Union and the EIB in developing plans and measures to effectively manage these very real risks.”
More about the WBIF project “Improvement of Flood Protection Infrastructure on Erzen-Ishem, Shkumbin, Seman and Vjosa Rivers”