A Firehouse in a Remote Municipality: A Story of Cooperation, Preparation and RehabilitationMay 16, 2017
Guests applauded as the newly renovated firefighting facility in Leposaviq/ć was revealed. As part of UNDP’s Kosovo Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative (KDRRI), funded by UNDP’s Bureau for Programme and Policy Support Funding Window, the municipality of Leposaviq/ć was able to repair a leaking roof, install new joinery, and rehabilitate the entrance area of their firefighting facility. The event on 11 May, 2017 marked the successful collaboration and continued building of trust between the municipality of Leposaviq/ć and UNDP Kosovo.
“We want UNDP to promise that this is not the last time we will work together,” joked Dragan Jablanović, the mayor of Leposaviq/ć. He was joined on the podium by Andrew Russell, Resident Representative of UNDP Kosovo and Nebojša Blagojević, commander of Leposaviq/ć’s firefighting unit. All three agreed that although progress has been made, it is vital to keep working together to increase disaster preparedness and response.
UNDP has been supporting Leposaviq/ć since April 2014, after Kosovo experienced one month of the most heavy rainfall in history. This rainfall triggered flash floods which caused significant damage to infrastructure in the four municipalities of northern Kosovo. Prompted by a desire to improve its resilience to disasters, Mr. Jablanović requested emergency funds to support recovery efforts. Since then, UNDP Kosovo and the municipality of Leposaviq/ć have worked closely together on resilience building through KDRRI and D-RISK projects. As part of these initiatives, UNDP is now also supporting the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to develop an online platform, with which EMA can feed geospatial information relevant to disasters into a central Geoportal. This Geoportal will help municipalities all over Kosovo adapt and prepare for disasters.
Prevention and preparedness for disasters is far more cost-effective than response afterwards. In this sense, risk-informed development is crucial. UNDP remains committed to continuing its work on Disaster Risk Reduction in Kosovo.