14 February 2021 / Vienna, Austria
Hybrid “Water Safety and Crisis Management” Workshop in Albania: Preparation is Everything
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
14 February 2021

A damaging earthquake late 2019, severe flooding early 2021 and the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic on top of it all: Albanian water utilities have rich and very recent crisis experience. Now Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania (SHUKALB), Albania's national water utility association and member of IAWD, supports its members in establishing best crisis management practice through a series of workshops.

On 21 and 22 January 2021, managerial and technical staff of nine Albanian water utilities connected online via Zoom with a trainer team that had gathered at a Hotel in Tirana for the kick-off event of the Water Safety Plan and Crisis Management Program. The workshop intended to familiarize decision-makers with the value of standard operating procedures that address water safety and crisis management.

Trainers Migena Kukli and Elton Hasanaj started out by presenting the results of a pre-assessment survey they had been conducted among the participating utilities noting both a widespread lack of planning and an awareness of its necessity, all the more acute because of recent experience with emergencies.

During the following two days, participants were introduced to topics such as operational hazard identification, preparation and emergency response rules for quick crisis or disaster recovery and other important elements of the crisis management cycle. Under the trainers' guidance, the participants also engaged in practical exercises, using the Zoom breakout rooms to perform simulated pandemic crisis and response scenarios in the roles defined in the Crisis Management Manual.

The next program step will involve trainers visiting each of the participating utilities to gather necessary data and information for developing a Standard Operating Procedure document on Water Safety Plan and Crisis Management for each utility.

The delivery of the Water Safety and Crisis Management Program (WSP) in Albania builds on the Danube Learning Partnership (D-LeaP) and is supported and co-financed by IAWD as well as GIZ in the frame of the project “Providing Support to Municipalities and Public Utilities Managing the Covid-19 Crisis in Albania” commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

For more information on the Water Safety and Crisis Management Program please consult the link below.