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Flood Victims Are Mainly Getting Help From Individuals, And The State Has Only Been Making Promises So Far

On this week’s episode of the show Arena on RTV Slovenia, many were left speechless by the story of a young family who lost everything in the recent floods. In addition to leaving them homeless, the flood also put their youngest child, five-month-old Oskar, who is dependent on specialised medical equipment to survive due to an extremely rare condition, in serious danger, and he had to immediately be taken to the University Medical Centre by helicopter; otherwise, the worst could have happened.

On this week’s episode of the show Arena, RTVS presenter Igor Pirkovič hosted Nejc Zager, a young father of three whose family was devastated by an avalanche and a flood in early August. On the one hand, Zager said he is glad that everyone is alive, but the life of his five-month-old son, who needs specialised medical equipment due to a rare disease, was also in danger.

His strength comes from his children

“On the 4th of August, at 4:30 in the morning, we realised that the only thing we could save were our own lives. We ran out of the house and up the first bank, was our neighbours were waiting for us. I was carrying my five-month-old son in my arms, and we only took formula for him and some clothes for the other two children with us. We didn’t take any of our own things because we didn’t have time,” said Zager, explaining that his youngest son, Oskar, suffers from a rare disease for which he was operated on just hours after his birth. “They cut off a good part of his intestines, so he is dependent on formula, and he also has asthma and is not as mobile as the other children. I cannot give up – for the sake of the children,” he said.

He said that “to be honest, it is the people that make me optimistic, because there have been some promises from the state, but until these promises are translated into action, we do not have much hope of getting any help,” Zager said. His family also had everything insured in case of flooding, and they received about 13,000 euros from the insurance company for the total damage, he explained, adding that it was “a big shock.” “I couldn’t believe it, I asked when the next payment would be, but the agent said this was it”, he said. Zager said that they were counting on this because, as he explained, “you pay insurance every year, it’s quite a bit of money that is hard to give, and when you should get something out of it, it is just crumbs”.

Disappointed with the insurance company, disappointed with the government

TV show host Pirkovič then pointed out that the government is also promising a lot in promoting construction on agricultural land. Zager is also one of the people that could benefit from this, because the house they lost was not his, but he would have built his own building on agricultural land. When asked whether he is optimistic about this, the guest said that promises have indeed been made – even on a recent episode of the show Tarča (Target) on RTVS – that this would be feasible by the end of the year. “Even then, I thought these promises were unrealistic. But today, I heard from an official that these procedures will take longer, over a period of two years,” said Zager, who doubts that he will get the promised help from the government.

Zager explained that he started working on his own farm at an early age and that he invested all his earnings in the farm, which he lost overnight. “The first week after the flood, the physical effort was extraordinary, then it all settled down a bit when we dug some things out, but a week after that, the psyche kicked in, and it wears you down a lot more. I believe we will succeed – thanks to the people and for our friends,” said Zager.

T. B.

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