Infrastruktur und Umwelt

Albania / Montenegro – Flood Risk Management: Maps and Plans published

After a development period of two years, hazard maps and risk management plans for the Drin-Delta in the north of Albania were presented on October 23, 2015. Representatives of the Ministry of Environment of Albania and of Montenegro, of the prefecture Shkodra, the German vice ambassador as well as all affected municipalities stakeholders participated in the launch event. Peter Heiland from INFRASTRUKTUR & UMWELT (IU) explained all work steps and results. On behalf of GIZ, IU developed and accompanied the participation processes and took over the professional processing with local and regional authorities.

In an intensive two-year working process, hazard and risk maps were developed with all municipalities and regional authorities and with the involvement of various stakeholders. In numerous workshops a risk assessment was carried out and particularly affected objects were identified. Based on this, action plans for objects of protection and action fields (“types of measures”) were developed. The results are a regional and eight local flood risk management plans, corresponding maps as well as extensive material for public relations and communication. All participants praised the process which included comprehensive local knowledge improving local management capacities significantly. “A plan is very good and important, but now we have to implement the measures step-by-step” said Arben Gjuraj, representative for the municipalities, who is responsible for public security and civil protection in the city of Shkodra. “But now we are optimally prepared for that.”

Large Drin floods inundate also parts of Montenegro before reaching the Adriatic Sea, therefore a close international cooperation between both bordering countries is necessary. The development of plans was based on the requirements of the European Flood Risk Management Directive. “We were able to use the experiences of Germany and other European countries for this approach”, explained Peter Heiland. “At first it was difficult to include all participants actively, but now a fantastic cooperation has arisen, particularly between the participants of the region.” It’s only one out of many examples that meanwhile operators of large hydropower plants next to Drin are involved in flood risk management, but it’s a particularly important example.