Project: National HDR 2016: How to improve security of vulnerable municipalities in Serbia?

Novi Pazar Acts Preventively to Minimize Torrential Floods

For years Novi Pazar and surrounding local communities are struggling with torrents, occasional earthquakes, landslides, forest fires, and snowfalls in mountain areas, indicated representatives of Emergency Situations Headquarter of the local self-government and civil society organizations at focus groups held on November 18th in Novi Pazar. As a response to identified natural disaster risks, actors in the local DRR system have invested considerable efforts in developing solid preventive measures to above-mentioned risks, but notably into torrents protection system. According to focus groups participants much of the preventive efforts have been put into construction of dams and cleaning up the riverbeds to prevent possible torrential floods. Sill, as indicated by some interviewees, the drawback for sustaining preventive measures and increasing resilience to natural disaster risks in Novi Pazar and surrounding local communities is the lack of vertical cooperation and coordination with public enterprises operating at national level and in charge for maintenance of waters and forests.

At the same time, resilience of local communities of Novi Pazar to natural disaster risks (and notably torrents) is endangered by the inadequate communal waste disposal into the riverbeds. This indicates the need for increasing actions of the communal inspection in this area as a prevention tool to natural hazards as well as a need for increasing of ecological education of the citizens, stated focus groups participants. In this regard representatives of communal inspection and youth civil society organizations have organized joint activities in addressing above issues with the aim of educating youth about the need for preventive actions in risk protection and increase of ecological knowledge of the youngsters.

Finally, interviewees stated that there is a need for enhanced inter-sectoral cooperation and coordination in the area of natural disaster risks protection, additional investment into preventive measures and notably into fire and excessive snowfall protection as well as increased citizens’ participation in the system of prevention from natural disaster risks.

Novi Pazar is one of 13 towns and municipalities included in the research for the preparation of the National Human Development Report (NHDR). United Nations Development Programme selected Public Policy Research Centre to prepare the 2015 NHDR.