As a part of the regional project "Building Local Community Resilience for Sustainable Development in International Watersheds" (CRESSIDA), REC Office Kosovo* signed an agreement on December 20, 2016, with the municipality of Rahovec and the NGO Keshilli Rinor to implement the project "Rivers Pure Longevity for All". The project is financed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The overall goal is to put a stop to the disposal of litter and solid waste in the rivers Rimnik (and Duhllo, as a service connection from the city), Sapniq and Bellaja, in order to prevent flooding. Another important objective is to build cohesion and cooperation between river basin stakeholders at local and international levels, including decision makers, local communities and civil society.
The project in Rahovec municipality is part of the support being provided to 18 communities in the Drini and Drina River Basins in order to build up local resilience and strengthen capacities for water management. The pilot project focuses on flood risk assessment and the management of the Rimnik River flow in order to prevent extreme flooding similar to the flooding that occurred in November 2016, when hundreds of families lost their winter food reserves, livestock and homes in this region of Kosovo* after three days of heavy rain. The municipality of Rahovec was among the worst hit. Many families were evacuated and had to take shelter in local schools; power stations were flooded; and the water supply was damaged, leaving people in an extremely vulnerable situation.
Lessons learnt from the interventions in Rahovec will be shared during a regional event, planned for autumn 2017, aimed at consolidating knowledge at river basin level with other communities facing similar challenges.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.