Flood emergency response program Kraljevo


Starting May 13, 2014, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced sustained torrential rains - by some estimates several months of average rain fell on the region in less than week - that resultedin the worst floods in at least the last century. Large sections of the Sava River and its major and minor tributaries in the watershed flooded, from the western reaches of northern Bosnia to the confluence with the Danube at Belgrade, and throughout the region flash floods and landslides caused extensive damage to infrastructure, homes and communities. Hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the floods, thousands were evacuated and thousands more were isolated within the flooded areas. Thirty-eight people lost their lives. Thousands of people throughout the region were trapped in towns and villages that in some cases are still cut off from main roads without ready access to drinking water, food, medicine or power.

The flood’s victims and their communities need many critical items of assistance in what is a still-evolving humanitarian emergency. First-phase cleanup and disinfection is still on going, requiring tools, and supplies and, for disinfection, technical guidelines on the safest methods and materials. Families, farms and businesses are faced with repairing or rebuilding, requiring materials for appropriate and achievable repairs, and volunteer manpower assistance and technical advice. Many families have lost all of their belongings, from furniture and appliances to utensils and personal mementos and need assistance in replacing basic furniture and fixtures.

Farmfamilieslivinginruralareas, whichwere heavily affected by the flooding, have suffered damages to crops and to fields themselves, which may impact their production and livelihood into next year. For these farmers, fields need to be recovered and re-sown, and livestock feed is in short supply and in some cases urgently needed.Water sanitation infrastructure is heavily damaged and septic tanks filled by the water, resulting with serious issues for people returning to their homes, trying to re-establish their lives. In many areas, till today, there is neither electricity nor water for affected families.

The extent of severity to which people are affected by the flood is different from place to place, and very much depends on local geographic and environmental conditions, and peoples individual losses and damages made on their property. For that reason, IOCC has conducted detailed needs assessments within almost all most affected regions of Serbia.

Опсег несреће којом су људи погођени поплавом разликује се од места до места, и у великој мери и од локалних географских услова и средине, као и од личних губитака и штете на њиховој имовини. Из овог раузлога, Међународна православна добротворна хришћанска служба (IOCC) је провела подробану процену у скоро свим захваћеним крајевима Србије.

The residents of flooded villages in Kraljevo are particularly vulnerable, still recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2010 that damaged thousands of homes, hundreds of which were irreparable and needed demolishing.The impact of the floods is most visible within the villages previously affected by the earthquake, leaving those families that were already vulnerable in an especially dire situation.

As recently as a few days ago, while driving trough these villages, piles offlood-ruined household belongings could still be seen in front of houses and next to roads, waiting to be hauled to local garbage collection sites for disposal.

Today, beyond the line of moisture on buildings facades and some thin cracks on the wall if you look more carefully, visitors may have impression that "nothing happened here".

It is part of the insidious nature of this that it leaves impression from outside like the flooding has caused very small or no damage to the people’s homes.

Upon receding, the water left layers of mud and debris on floors and household supplies, while walls are left full of moisture and various contaminating materials.

In many cases, drying and dehumidifying the walls is insufficient, and in those cases plaster has to be removed entirely and reconstructed.

Floor covers (parquet, wood covers, carpets, etc.) within flooded houses are usually totally destroyed, and require immediate replacement and detailed repair of the floor base with concrete

Water and electric installations are not available for use, and as the most urgent problem, people’s bathrooms are not functioning. Many affected families, especially those in isolated rural communities, identify functioning bathrooms as a priority – for health, for sanitation, for dignity.

Program description

The ultimate goal of the program is to implement multi-sectoral emergency action to improve the humanitarian situation of vulnerable populations affected by floods in Kraljevo, by restoring access to livable homes.


This project is aimed at reaching at least 60 most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged families, affected by floods in Kraljevo municipality.



Kraljevo municipality is located beside the rivers Ibar and West Morava, in the midst of an upland valley, between the mountains of Kotlenik in the north, and Stolovi in the south. It is the administrative center of the Raška District of Serbia, with the administrative area consisted of 16 settlements. The current population of Kraljevo (census 2011) is approximately 125,488, which includes migration from rural areas and a still-significant number of internally displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohija (around 19,500) and refugees from BiH and Croatia (around 500).

On November 3, 2010 a 5.4 Richter magnitude earthquake occurred in Kraljevo, damaging many buildings and killing two people. The most affected villages by the earthquake in 2010 (Adrani, Grdica and Sirča) are also those most affected by flooding in 2014.

Recognizing this, IOCC is focusing the activities of this proposed flood relief project onAdrani, Grdica and Sirča. In total, within the targeted area, about 500 homes are damaged by the floods, directly impacting almost 2,000 persons / 500 families.


The assessments showed a need for assisting people with repair of their houses and re-establishing use of their bathrooms.As well, the prevailing request made by flood affected families is related to shelter support.

Most of thehouses suffered serious damage tofloors / floor covers, as well as to the wall plastering (mostly 50 to 85 cm height); within the assessment areas, a smaller percentage of identified houses have faced significant structural damages beyond repair.

Furthermore, within the targeted population residing in targeted areas, there is a widespread lack of financial means for independently repairing the flooded homes and the concern is that it will directly result in the inability of people to return to their homes and to re-establish their livelihoods. In addition, IOCC has identified a number of people who are not capable of completing repairs on their own and will need assistance in doing so, especially some elderly living alone in isolated areas.

Each selected beneficiary family will receive specified material for repairing their homes, in addition to the professional engineering assistance provided on an as-needed basis by IOCC staff. In an effort to stimulate revitalization and recovery of the local economy, materials and supplies will be purchased from local suppliers as much as possible.

Based upon its field assessments, familiarity with local circumstances and traditions and previous experience, IOCC will use a model of providing shelter repair sets to selected beneficiaries and providing cash assistance to pay qualified local labor to complete repairs for people who are not able to do so on their own.

The project will target most vulnerable flood affected families, including elderly, single mothers and families with many small children. In total, it is anticipated that the shelter response under this action will consist of procurement and distribution of 60 shelter repair sets and labor support, which will ensure support to 60 flood affected families, or approximately 240 persons.


This program, which will be sponsored by Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand through the generosity of its donors, particularly the St Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Wacol, Brisbane, with its generous donation of $20,000, is planned to begin on 01 July 2014. The anticipated completion date, of the proposed activities, is estimated for 30September 2014.


The management structure of IOCC is program-based. Overall management and broad program goals are the responsibility of the IOCC Headquarters office (HQ) in Baltimore MD, where the Director of Strategic Initiatives supervises all IOCC operations in the Balkans. The IOCC Program and Finance Managers for Serbia will be responsible for all aspects of program implementation and management at ground level, with HQ-based support, supervision, and monitoring.All financial, logistics and related controls, systems and procedures carried out in field operations are governed and reviewed by IOCC Headquarters.  


The daily, ground-level operations of the program will bemanaged byIOCC’s Belgrade-basedProgram Manager. The Program Manager will:

  • Lead the implementation of approved project activities, including close cooperation and coordination with the Red Cross of Kraljevo,
  • Provide general oversight and specific direction for the program,
  • Compose/review and submit all programreports through IOCC HQ channels,
  • Conduct field-level monitoring and evaluation,
  • Identify and seek resolution of challenges the program faces, and
  • Evaluate and articulate the program’s successes in meeting those challenges.



For all elements of the program, IOCC will apply its standard monitoring processes and criteria to facilitate ongoing information gathering and reporting. IOCC field staff will submit monthly and final narrative and financial reports, to IOCC HQ in Baltimore. 

IOCC will ensure that the project is implemented according to plan, confirm that assistance is reaching the targeted beneficiaries,ensure that the activities are achieving the desired objectives, measure impacts, and determine future needs. Field-level monitoring and reporting will be the responsibility of the IOCC Program Manager.

IOCC evaluation processes draw on onsite visits, interviews, group discussions, reports and observations from and with beneficiaries, Red Cross Kraljevo and IOCC staff.IOCC field staff will conduct monthly monitoring visits to activity sites and conclude each project with an evaluation.

Source: Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand