“The Municipality of Lucani in Serbia has been flooded 12 times since 2014. This time the water was from 1.5 meters to 2.70 meters high, which means that one floor houses, in which mostly poor people live, were completely flooded. Many agricultural lands were also flooded. In Poljane (Municipality of Obrenovac), the lands were flooded right when it was time for sowing, destroying the plans and investments of local farmers. Grdica, a village near the city of Kraljevo, has been flooded so many times... People are desperate, they don’t know if it’s worth fixing something. Many of them are still paying loans they took to fix the damage from the last floods. However, they want to change this situation, prevent further damage, because they have no other choice than staying in their homes,” says Milica Ocokoljic, Caritas Belgrade Archdiocese field officer.
Heavy rainfalls and spillages of watercourses severely affected three cities and 14 municipalities in Serbia in early March. As a result, the government declared on 10 March a nationwide state of emergency. The rain continued during two days and in 24 hours only, almost 30 litres had fallen per square meter.
710 households were flooded and, as a consequence, 200 persons were evacuated. Altogether, the floods have affected 50,000 people and destroyed thousands of hectares of agricultural land – the main source of income for many of the affected families. Road infrastructures, bridges, the power supply network and the water supply were also heavily hit.
To begin, Caritas Serbia/Caritas Belgrade Archdiocese donated 100 shovels for cleaning out the mud, distributed leaflets instructing what to do after floods and how to prepare the house for renewal, and put 114 dehumidifiers at the disposal of 300 households.
Caritas is also distributing vouchers for the most affected and vulnerable groups to purchase food and nutrition, water, and sanitation and hygiene products. Priority is given in particular to the elderly, persons with disabilities, marginalised people, single-headed households and households with many children. With this assistance, Caritas is able to help 1,000 beneficiaries directly.
Read more on Caritas Serbia website.