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People From The Affected Areas: Lots Of Material, But No Heavy Equipment!

With a variety of weather events coming to us in the upcoming days, many people are looking to the skies with concern. Especially in the areas where the devastating storms have already caused a great amount of damage in early August. In the Upper Savinja Valley area, the people are especially concerned because there is not enough heavy equipment to remove the excess material.

State Secretary Boštjan Šefic, who is responsible for the coordination of flood recovery measures and activities, visited the Upper Savinja Valley on Sunday and met with local mayors. He assured them that the rehabilitation of watercourses and roads was a priority. Šefic insists that the government will not forget anyone affected by the storm.

In addition to the bad weather forecasts, the residents of Rastke, a hamlet in the vicinity of Ljubno, are worried that they will be left to deal with the consequences of the floods alone, just as they were after the 1990 floods. One resident told the national media outlet RTV Slovenia that a few more cubic metres still need to be hauled away. “I don’t know where the excavators went, they are gone. There are no trucks, and we have all this left,” he commented with concern.

People have been left to fend for themselves

“The streams are not regulated, there is no heavy machinery left, there is nothing. It worries me because, in the 1990s, we had almost the same problem,” said a local resident. According to the Mayor of Ljubno ob Savinji, Franjo Naraločnik, every excavator that is taken away, every excavator that is not working these days, that may not have been working in the past few weeks, represents great damage and increases the danger for all their people. Naraločnik told the media outlet 24ur Zvečer a few days ago that they are running out of hope and feel that they are on their own. “It is difficult for us to see heavy equipment and excavators leaving our villages and hamlets, and it is also difficult when you meet people who are horrified to see experts and heavy machinery that was supposed to help create new paths just leave,” he said, thanking all those who have come to their aid in any way.

The necessary construction machinery is due to arrive soon

On Sunday, Šefic said that measures would be taken to increase the number of heavy equipment in the affected areas. He said it was important to bear in mind that the aid sent to Slovenia from abroad was intended for intervention. “Now, of course, we have to agree with these countries separately on a new arrangement, if necessary,” he said. However, it is not yet clear when the agreement will be reached. Šefic also spoke to the mayors of the Upper Savinja Valley about the relocation of the affected houses to a new site. “In the municipality, we will certainly pursue the goal of ensuring a high-quality and healthy living environment in the event of relocation. We will not tolerate half-implemented measures,” said Tomaž Žohar, Mayor of Braslovče.

During the weekend, we reported that volunteers were becoming scarce in the areas affected by the floods, although some families still need the help of hard-working hands. “I call on all those who did not come or were not able to help on the 14th of August to get involved now,” Anita Ogulin, a well-known humanitarian from the Ljubljana Moste-Polje Friends of Youth Association (Zveza prijateljev mladine – ZPM), told Planet TV.

Nina Žoher

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