Shijak has turned into a large reconstruction site, where work continues day and night, not only to build new dwellings from scratch, but also repair buildings and home that have sustained minor damages due to the devastating earthquake last November. Some 27 apartment buildings are undergoing a rehabilitation project designed to provide citizens almost new apartments in terms of quality and reconstruction standards.
Prime Minister Edi Rama visited the town of Shijak and inspected a part of the new residential neighbourhood, where work continues along with the reconstruction of damaged buildings, as well as for the demolition and removal of waste, as well as the preparation of the ground for the foundations of new apartment buildings.
Shijak Mayor Elton Arbana explained that in addition to the rehabilitation of the buildings’ structure, the rooftop water tanks have been also removed in a bid to boost safety of the buildings in the future. “This is one of the 27 apartment buildings that are undergoing the reconstruction process. These are some of the images showing the buildings’ condition before they underwent the renovation process with the exterior walls not plastered. Around 85% of the work to rehabilitate the building has completed. The building’s structure has been reinforced. In the meantime, every apartment is being fully repaired. The facade is now unified and the rooftop water tankers have been removed and they have been replaced with three big underground tankers to provide 24-hour water supply to every household living in this apartment building. The stairs, communal areas have been repaired and walls have been painted,” Mayor Arbana said, showing some of the pictures showing the buildings before the rehabilitation project.
PM Rama visited some of the recently-renovated apartment buildings, about which the residents themselves said their apartment homes never been up to the today’s standards previously. In addition to the reconstruction, the project entails addressing other problems, including the water supply. “Wholeheartedly thank you! Every single wall has been repaired to take a completely different new look. We live for more than 40 years here and our apartments have never undergone such reconstruction and renovation process. If you are to compare them with the old pictures, one can easy see they are now 100% different, starting with the water supply. We used to buy water, but now we receive regular supply,” one of the residents said.
To ensure a transparent process, the residents have overseen the entire reconstruction process themselves by naming their representatives. “Residents have elected two administrators for each apartment building to supervise the reconstruction works. Great job has been done. All apartment buildings are undergoing reconstruction process. To buy time, as winter is nearing, we have reconstructed every apartment. We are working long hours to meet our objective and make sure that all affected families move into their newly-built or renovated houses within December 2020,” Shijak Mayor Arbana said, adding along construction of the collective homes, work is underway to rebuild educational facilities, including the kindergarten No. 1 that has sustained damages equal to DS4 damage level.
The new kindergarten will be reborn to feature a completely new and contemporary infrastructure that will meet contemporary standards for habitability and environmental comfort and provide spaces for contemporary education and entertainment of kids. “The wall construction will begin in the next few days. The building had suffered damages level equal to DS4. The new kindergarten, which will welcome 150 children, is being constructed according to most contemporary standards that Shijak has been lacking over years. We hope that the kindergarten project will complete within November,” Mayor Arbana said.