Reconstruction–615 safer and more beautiful residential buildings in Durres 

The newly-reconstructed apartment buildings in Durres, their interiors and the buildings’ exteriors, have rendered a completely new look to the coastal city. A group of 157 apartment buildings in the last two lots add to another batch of 458 apartment buildings, many of them built several decades ago, comprising a total of 615 residential buildings that will now be much stronger, safer and more beautiful than they were prior to the tragic night of November 26 last year.

Prime Minister Edi Rama visited some of the reconstructed apartment buildings. “This is the first lot of the communal areas. It is a 12-storey residential building that has sustained damages equal to DS3 level. Work is underway to repair the interior premises and the communal areas, as the staircases had suffered serious damages. Some 458 buildings have sustained similar damages and they will be all repaired. Work to repair some of them has begun and I avail myself of this opportunity to assure all the quake-affected families that all projects will be finalized in the way these ongoing projects are being finalized. Meanwhile, other projects are being launched and more than 600 residential buildings will be reconstructed. In the meantime, we have also launched the detailed analysis of the projects on repair and maintenance of the buildings with damages equal to DS4 level,” Durres Mayor Emiriana Sako said.

“Further away, there are several buildings, which, in addition to the earthquake damages, have deteriorated over time. The reconstruction projects will address this problem too. These buildings have sustained minor structural damages and moderate damages to their walls. These buildings have all degraded over the time,” Sako said, adding that the project is simultaneously implemented in entire city, Shkembi i Kavajes area and the administrative units.”

The Premier entered one of the apartments, which has taken a completely new look after being reconstructed. “This apartment was totally ruined. I received the compensation grant to cover the repair cost. Thank you very much,” the owner of the house said.

The Premier had then a conversation with a group of people residing in the residential building that has sustained damages equal to DS5 level and a second damage assessment process is underway.

“I was told that the assessment process has concluded that the building has sustained serious damages. A second final assessment process will be conducted and the building will undergo full reconstruction, or it will be torn down to construct a new building from scratch on its site for everyone to benefit brand new and even bigger houses. Residents will receive bonus rent until construction of the new residential building completes. However, a final assessment has first to complete,” the Premier told residents.

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The former marshland known as Keneta neighbourhood has turned into another reconstruction site in Durres Municipality, where work progresses rapidly to allow many affected families to celebrate the New Year’​s Eve in their newly-built homes. The main goal is to make sure that the new homes are much safer, stronger and more beautiful than the old ones.

Prime Minister Rama, accompanied by the Minister of State for Reconstruction, Arben Ahmetaj, and the Mayor of Durres, Emiriana Sako, inspected the ongoing construction works in this area where brand new homes are being built on the ruins of the houses that were destroyed due to the earthquake on November 26 last year. Local residents here, just like any other resident in the quake-affected areas, have benefited the bonus rent.

“It is a total of 1024 single-family homes and work to construct 200 of them has already begun. In other words, this is one of the first lots already underway in the Municipality of Durres, while the damage assessment process is still underway to identify the severely damaged buildings in the area. The process may include another 500 single-family homes,” Minister Ahmetaj said.

Inspecting the ongoing work to construct some of the houses in the area, PM Rama pledged to the affected families that they will celebrate the New Year’s Eve in their new homes.

“Every homeless family is entitled to benefit the bonus rent. We have already covered the bonus rent for some 4800 families in Durres, but their number is now decreasing as many of them are moving into the newly-built homes,” Durres Mayor Sako said.

Some 12 educational facilities and 200 new houses are expected to complete within this year in Durres Municipality, while work to construct the first apartment buildings is already underway.