Serbia + 1 more

ACT Balkans Appeal EUBK91- No 16/99 Situation Report FRY/Kosovo - Week ending 11 Dec 1999

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THIS WEEK
MONTENEGRO/SERBIA

IOCC added five collective centers in Serbia to its distribution list, located in the municipalities of Ub, Lajkovac, Valjevo, Jagodina and Petrovac. IOCC/Belgrade has now distributed ACT assistance to 175 collective centers in Serbia under EUKC91.

In villages surrounding Jagodina, IOCC visited 179 refugees accommodated in six abandoned Cultural Centers and an old Health Center. Because none is registered as an official collective center, the refugees must pay electricity bills. Since they cannot afford to pay these bills on a regular basis, there is a constant fear that electricity will be disconnected.

IOCC continues to fill gaps in the delivery of humanitarian aid to refugees living in Montenegro. In addition to providing food and hygiene parcels to IDPs, IOCC is one of the only agencies regularly meeting the needs of the 28,300 refugees from Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

IOCC / SERBIA

525 Family Food Parcels
994 Family Hygiene Parcels
177 Baby Parcels
733 Individual Hygiene Parcels
44 Institutional Hygiene Kits
4,035 Beneficiaries

IOCC / MONTENEGRO

1,290 Family Food Parcels
1,290 Family Hygiene Parcels
1,075 Baby Parcels
6,880 Beneficiaries

KOSOVO

OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

ACT-LWF reports that in Decan, the power supply situation has been rather poor, due to the burn out of a security switch between town power and generator supply. The communications system has been seriously affected.

SHELTER / WINTERIZATION

A meeting with UNHCR Shelter Coordinator reveals interest in ACT's emergency shelter program as a response to the most damaged houses (cat. 5), for which difficult reconstruction will not be able to start before spring 2000.

New shipments of prefabricated houses began arriving from Estonia in Mitrovice and Rahovec, where 11 kits were already distributed in Dragobil and Brestovc by ACT-UMCOR.

125 more will be erected by ACT-ICMC in the Prizren/Rahovec/Gjakove area before end of next week. In Decan, 150 should be delivered before Christmas (ACT-LWF), and 166 are also expected in Mitrovice area (ACT-UMCOR and ACT-LWF) to complete the 34 already arrived.

The pre training has been given where it was needed and demonstrations will start next week in Gjakove area with 3 teams. In Mitrovice and Decan, the ACT-LWF engineering teams are monitoring and controlling distributions according to specification for each house/family, and at the same time acting as consultants and advisers to the local building teams (1 house erected in 1 day)

Roof reconstruction and rehabilitation

ACT-UMCOR received 4 trucks this week, 2 in Mitrovice (rebars, cement) and 2 in Rahovec (laths, timber, doors and windows). The deliveries are scheduled to continue during the next several weeks, as engineers continue to calculate material requirements for additional assistance such as floor board or ceiling panels. The Mitrovice shelter team continued its distribution of humanitarian supplies. 176 families were provided with Hygiene kits, family food parcels and blankets in Bajgore this week.

In Bare and Bajgore, ACT-UMCOR has completed roof reconstruction for 15 houses this week, for a total of 130 since the beginning of the program. On its side, ACT-LWF reports that 280 houses are now under roof in Decan area. The roof tiles and timber supplementing UNHCR, DANIDA and ECHO kits have started arriving and will be distributed. UNHCR roof kits have been delivered to beneficiaries.

SCHOOL RECONSTRUCTION / REHABILITATION

ACT-NCA has 7 severely damaged or totally destroyed schools under construction and work is proceeding well on them, even if because of the power and weather conditions (fog, night at 4pm) the return from the field has to take place before dark. Some complaints seem to be made regarding finished schools. It could be due to the fact that UNICEF had promised some stoves and furniture that should not have been delivered. ACT-NCA will appraise the validity of complaints and see what has to be done.

FOOD SECURITY / AGRICULTURE

The tractor repair program (ACT-UMCOR is expanding to 6 new villages, 10 tractors in each village, in Mitrovice Municipality (Vidisig, Ksohtov, Zhabar) and Rahovec Municipality (Krusha e Madhe, Bella Cenka, Retia). The coordinator of this program will meet Community leaders to explain, define and regulate the duties and obligations of the contracting parties.

WELL CLEANING / WATER SANITATION

ACT-NCA well cleaning and water cleaning team have this week covered an extensive area from Podujeva - Obiliq - Skanderaj - Decani, where about 50 new wells to clear will be registred. Due to low water level in some areas where it is most suspected to be dead human bodies, searches have to be postponed to next year. Work continues in Radoniq water reservoir (Gjakove) and in the cave of Zgatar village.

In Pristine, the team has chlorinated 36 wells. In Banja Village (Malisheve Municipality) 16 wells were cleaned and chlorinated, 35 in Mitrovice and 25 in Decan. New pumps have arrived, only for use in 10 m depth or less wells.

In Decan area, the water and sanitation program continues in Strellc, Drenoc and Junic (water rehabilitation and extension). New settlement of rehabilitation program is processed in Junic and Babaloc. The Decan rural program is going on with 600m of trench excavated, whereas the schools water and sanitation program is continuing (toilet installations in Gllogjan school and septic tank settled for Decan High School).

Well Cleaning in 2000

The 18 August 1999 United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR)

and Action by Churches Together (ACT) signed an agreement to clear polluted wells, especially those polluted with human bodies. The not potable water caused by decomposing bodies is likely to affect an villages and if the bodies are not removed it may further contaminate groundwater. The 31 December 1999 this program ends.

Local authorities and people are asking for a continuation of the program in year 2000. There is still a considerable number of polluted wells not cleared yet and another problem has been raised: Dead human bodies in water reservoirs which ACT now has addressed together with The International War Criminal Tribunal Yugoslavia.

So far the program has cleared over 250 wells to potable state of use and 65 dead bodies have been found. A preliminary research in water reservoir and near by rivers has revealed 6 dead bodies. An another dimension is the fact that there still is missing people in Kosovo and this is an important and deeply emotional matter for many people.

In this situation it is natural to extend this ongoing project into the year 2000. ACT/NCA has decided to continue an additional period 3-6 months into next year in order to finish this awesome problem in Kosovo.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

ACT-UMCOR funded local Youth Group programs. This includes the Albanian Youth Action support to their children's choir with musical equipment and supplies. The Kosovar Youth Council do website training for youth groups throughout Kosovo, and the "Post Pessimists" youth group will comple their documentary project "the Gray town" - about life of youth in Pristina before and after the war.

As part of the educational Assistance Program, coordinated with UNICEF, ACT-UMCOR purchased recreational and school equipment for the student initiatives project in the schools of Bare, Bagjore, Dragobil and Brestovc. Firewood distribution was also made in the Bare and Bagjore schools from a local contractor in the villages.

OVERVIEW OF ACT RESPONSE:

The five implementing partners in Kosovo are the Lutheran World Federation, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, Norwegian Church Aid, and DanChurchAid. Together they constitute the ACT humanitarian response within Kosovo, working in the predominantly rural areas surrounding Mitrovica, Decani, Djakova, and Rahovic; and engaged in shelter and school rehabilitation, winterization, de-mining, well cleaning /water sanitation, agricultural and food assistance, and social community development.

Of the fourteen project within the current ACT appeal four -- HungarianInterchurch Aid, Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization, the International Orthrodox Christian Charities and LWF --are focused on assisting internally displaced persons, refugees, and other needy persons; within the FRY areas of Vojvodina, Sandzak, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

Thank you for your attention.

ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.