Protection of Natural Disasters
According to World Bank analyses and data, Macedonia is increasingly susceptible to natural disasters due to climate change. For these reasons, our institutions must be prepared to deal with these challenges and minimize damage to life, health and property of citizens. The floods in the last two years showed all systemic weaknesses of the institutions, especially in the prevention area, and led to heavy casualties, late and insufficient assistance and rescue, and grave discrimination.
The Government will review the functioning of these institutions, precisely define their individual responsibilities and provide a functional system to protect the life and property of citizens. All institutions in the system of protection and rescue from natural disasters will be equipped with adequate, continuously trained professional staff. Their collaboration will raise significantly. We will procure modern equipment and assign it to all relevant institutions, while the existing will be maintained in good condition.
The Government will introduce an integrated system of water management through the establishment of a water agency. All data on water resources collected from relevant institutions will be integrated in one place and all activities will be coordinated using a single management tools system. Using all available data from institutions and municipalities, but also those publicly available by the EU, we will immediately start with drafting a realistic operational plan for flood protection in vulnerable areas and reconsider the civilian protection plans for each municipality and the city of Skopje. We will continuously provide training, promote information sharing to the population at risk of flooding, and inform them how to behave in case of floods and other disasters.
The Government will develop a "Land registry of areas threatened by natural disasters in Macedonia” accompanied by degree of risk parameters. This registry will be included in all planning and sectoral documents and define the red zones (prohibition of construction), yellow zones (construction allowed, but only with safeguards) and green areas (free construction). We will strengthen expert control in the development and implementation of modalities for protection and rescue in spatial and urban plans.
The Government will consult experts upon the development of measures to combat erosion and regulation of torrents, and reforestation of mountains where unlimited lumbering has led to destruction of forests and consequently soil erosion. We will examine the resilience of buildings built in compromised areas, and provide measures for rehabilitation and maintenance of dams. The evident crime of illegal lumbering will be fought against by transferring the forest police department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management to the competence of the Ministry of Interior.
The Government will launch debates on banning construction in riverbeds and take steps to rehabilitate Vardar’s riverbed whose omission power is further reduced by "Skopje 2014" buildings. The width of coastal areas and riverbeds will be defined in accordance with European standards.
The Government will maintain a modern, meteorological, early warning system in case of risk of bad weather so the population can be promptly informed and prepared to tackle these challenges. We will establish a single system for reporting and alerting and set up a unique communication and information system with the implementation of area code crisis - E-112.
The Government will seize the opportunities of "Europe Re" created as a reinsurance company through public-private partnerships with several countries in the region. In the event of natural disasters, the Macedonian budget will be secure, and any damages will be covered by reinsurance. Using innovative technologies, the system guarantees to cover all damages under Swiss quality standards, without bias, political influence and opportunities for corruption.