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U.S. Helps Ub to Mitigate Flood Damage

The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, through USAID and the U.S. Office of Defense Coordination have been working with the Serbian Ministry of Interior’s Sector for Emergency Management to help the Municipality of Ub recover from the worst flooding in the Municipality’s recorded history.

While there was significant damage as the result of unprecedented flooding in June, Ub’s emergency managers deserve credit for their prompt actions to mitigate the effects of the floods. Municipal emergency responders acted promptly and managed the disaster, preventing widespread devastation and property damage.

Ambassador Warlick and Ub’s local official tour flood affected areas. 

Since joining USAID’s Preparedness and Planning Program in 2008, Ub’s emergency managers have been participating in specialized training courses aimed at helping them to improve their emergency management systems. Through partnership in this $9 million program, Ub’s responders, like those in 80 other Serbian municipalities, have developed much more thorough coordination plans to ensure an efficient and effective utilization of the resources at hand. Their hard work and commitment made it possible for Ub to earn Enhanced Disaster Resilience status in less than a year from joining the program. 

On Tuesday, September 14th, U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick, Assistant Minister of Interior Predrag Maric and Ub’s Mayor Vladislav Krsmanović visited areas which were flooded and where clean up efforts were still taking place.

As part of this effort, the U.S. Embassy donated $10,000 through the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Emergency Humanitarian Assistance (HA) program to purchase pumps to clear mud and floodwaters, chlorine to safely treat wells, as well as disinfectants, gloves, and different kinds of cleaning equipment. This follows on from last year, when the U.S. Embassy purchased $10,000 worth of boat motors, through DoD, for use by the Ministry of Interior’s Emergency Management Department wherever flooding occurs.

While the flood waters have receded, there are still lingering problems from the damage to fresh water wells. The donation to Ub will cut in half the time needed to complete the purification effort and will allow livestock production in the municipality to return to normal by preventing the spread of water-borne diseases. Ub supplies approximately one third of the vegetables sold on Belgrade green markets. Fast disinfection of water wells will not only help them to restore production on the farms but also to improve vegetable deliveries to more than 1.5 million people in the capital.

“Certainly, homes have been lost and cherished belongings damaged during the flooding, but families survived and remained whole and the worst of the floods were contained—thanks to your efforts. We are proud of the partnerships we have created with the Ministry’s Emergency Management department and the people of Ub,” said Ambassador Warlick.

Ambassador Warlick receives a Certificate of appreciation from Ub’s Mayor Vladislav Krsmanović. 

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT FOLLOWING JUNE FLOODS IN UB MUNICIPALITY:

  • 1,720 people suffered some type of damage to their household – the municipality’s population is 34,000
  • 120 people were evacuated
  • 315 homes were damaged; just over 10,000 homes are within the borders of the Municipality of Ub
  • 115 homes In 21 villages and the town of Ub suffered structural damage requiring significant reconstruction or replacement
  • 450 head of livestock also had to be evacuated
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