Based on the proposal made by the Government Office for Reconstruction and Flood Relief, the Government of the Republic of Turkey approved the total of over 1 million Euros to fund the projects for flood control infrastructure improvement. The grant will be used to fund implementation of the projects aiming to significantly raise citizen and property safety levels in the city of Leskovac and the municipalities of Vlasotince, Vladičin Han, Kladovo, Trgovište, Bujanovac and Bosilegrad.
The projects will provide greater protection against future floods of the rivers of Južna Morava, Velika Kamenička reka, Pčinja, Dragovištica and Moravica, which caused severe damage to houses, public buildings and infrastructure in the east and south of Serbia during September and January floods.
The Protocol on the Donation was signed today between the Republic Directorate for Water and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency TIKA, and it will be implemented in cooperation with the Government Office for Reconstruction and Flood Relief. Expert supervision and consulting services during the execution of works will be provided by the Public Water Management Company “Srbijavode”.
So far, the Office has provided approximately 1 billion dinars in donations to reconstruct flood control infrastructure. These are the projects approved, based on the Office proposal, by the Governments of Japan, Great Britain, Turkey, Italy, Algeria, Canada, Indonesia, Albania and Bulgaria, and also the Coca-Cola Foundation and the European Union.
The funds have been used to execute the works to reconstruct flood control infrastructure at more than 120 sites in Serbia which fall under the authority of public management enterprises “Srbijavode”, “Beogradvode” and “Vode Vojvodine”.
“Last year was the year of reconstruction. This year, and hopefully the years ahead, will be the years of prevention”, said the Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Flood Relief Marko Blagojević, stressing that the total value of the projects to be launched this year alone would amount to over 70 million Euros.
He underlined that only 19 torrent check dams had been built in Serbia in the last 20 years, whereas as many as 24 would be constructed this year alone, stressing that every dinar invested in prevention equaled seven dinars spent to reconstruct what had been damaged, whereas the ratio in our country was even higher.
“We have learnt our lesson last year and now, for the first time, we have a systematic and organized approach to disaster risk management, not only in terms of floods”, said Blagojević.