Emergency Coordination Support to the Municipality of Strumica
The extremely dry conditions and successive heat waves in July 2012 caused many wildfires in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The area of Strumica, located in the south-eastern part of the country, was harshly affected. Four people died, 18 were badly injured, informal housing settlements faced numerous threats, and valuable forests were lost.
The main objective of this project is to help strengthen the capacities of the local authorities for better coordination, preparation of needs assessments and support early recovery response measures. Special attention is dedicated to the many vulnerable groups, particularly the Turkish and the Roma communities living in informal housing settlements in the Strumica area. It is expected that once the project is completed the Municipality of Strumica will be able to deal much more effectively with any future natural disaster that may occur.
The cooperation between local and national authorities responsible for disaster risk reduction activities has improved.
WHO accompanied and funded the development of a municipal health needs assessment study, in close coordination with UNDP – which is a good example of successful inter-agency cooperation.
Several other important municipal needs assessment studies were produced: a gender based forest fire needs assessment study and an integrated municipal forest fire needs assessment study – incorporating suggestions from the most vulnerable groups and providing valuable suggestions for the future.
An early recovery plan has been developed. It serves as guidance to the local authorities to be more effective in fighting forest fires and also, further reduce the risk of forest fire occurrence.
A Forest Fire Emergency Coordination Exercise has been carried out to identify the gaps and needs that the local and national emergency mechanism is facing during forest fires. This exercise resulted in very clear recommendations which will help further strengthen the municipal capacities for forest fire emergency coordination.