PRESIDENT OF WORLD ROMA ORGANIZATION JOVAN DAMJANOVIC IN VISIT TO PODGORICA REGARDING THE FIRE IN ROMA SETTLEMENT KONIK 1
Belgrade, 25th July 2012 – In fire that occurred on 24th July 2012 at 06 AM on the area of camp Konik 1 in Podgorica, due to great fire burned camp with 38 barracks, by which 150 families and approx. 800 people were left without roof over the head. Luckily, there haven’t any casualties.
Mayor of Podgorica Dr. Miomir Mugosa, regarding this crisis situation, said together with his expert’s team of associates to the president of World Roma Organization Jovan Damjanovic and vice-president of the National council of Roma and Egyptians of Montenegro Senad Sejdovic which urgent measures were undertaken regarding this fire:
1. With acceptance of capital and relevant institutions, location for raising of tent settlement had been determined;
2. In school Bozidar Vukovic, whose capacity is for 300 persons, were provided conditions for the temporary accommodation of families. Besides that, transportation for all persons who expressed wish for some alternative housing was provided;
3. Capital with its communal services cleaned a burned field, and performed a tamping for the raising of tents. In addition, capital provided on the mentioned location public lightning, drinking water and technical water;
4. Capital in cooperation with UNHCR secured food for couple of days, and it already entered the process of distribution;
5. Ministry of work and social care placed old and infirm persons, as well as children, to the relevant institutions of social protection;
6. Health center in Konik is providing adequate health protection for jeopardized persons;
7. Police Department is securing the area affected with fire, as well as the remaining part of the camp Konik 2;
8. Mayor Mugosa informed president of World Roma Organization Jovan Damjanovic that also members of the Army of Montenegro were put to availability, who participated in setting of the tent settlement. Besides that, high officers of Army visited and offered also other forms of support if that will be required;
9. National team of Red Cross for acting in disasters, which counts 25 trained volunteers, participated in raising of tent settlement and they were on disposal both for other ways of help;
10. Area affected with fire was visited by the minister of work and social care Suad Numanovic, minister of interior Ivan Brajovic, and in direct contact with operative team was also a vice-president of the Government of Montenegro Dusko Markovic – alias, president of the Coordinating body for permanent solving of problem of displaced persons. In addition, representatives of United Nations and agencies visited area affected by fire and expressed readiness for help. Ambassador in Brussels Ivan Lekovic contacted mayor of Podgorica and informed him that there is an interest of European Commission for this case.
Mayor and other present persons informed president Jovan Damjanovic that this is not permanent, but only a temporary solution with tents that will last only until the autumn, and that later they will temporarily get a housing containers, and that in the process is work on creation of project for the construction of residential settlement, where later, after short period, Roma from the settlement Konik 1 will be transferred into the adequate housing units.
President of World Roma Organization Jovan Damjanovic at the end addressed mayor Dr. Miomir Mugosa and his expert’s team, with expression of deep thankfulness for the maximum commitment of city of Podgorica, relevant ministries and other state’s institutions that in cooperation on quick and efficient way reacted after the fire and set a tent settlement with most elementary conditions for a temporary residence of people. In addition, he supported intention of city of Podgorica about realization of plan for setting of temporary housing containers, while the construction of housing units for Roma from this settlement is not completed.
Besides that, president of World Roma Organization Jovan Damjanovic presented a project that will also be realized in Serbia, called “Economic strengthening of Roma in recycling sector”. With this project would be also opened recycling centers in Montenegro, which is having a great significance both for the city and municipal environments, and for members of Roma community, who will finally have an opportunity to be employed legally and chance to be integrated easier into the mainstream society. Mayor Mugosa, as well as the secretary for communal jobs and traffic accepted this draft of project unanimously, with sincere hope for quick realization of same, and employment of greater number of Roma in Montenegro.
After that, president Damjanovic visited settlement Konik 1, where he offered to Roma all adequate information related to engagement of city of Podgorica and state’s institutions on solving of their problem. He informed them that better and more beautiful future is waiting on them in adequate flats, as well about project of opening the recycling centers.
Since the president of the National council of Roma and Egyptians of Montenegro Isen Gasi is currently in Belgrade, after return to Belgrade president of World Roma Organization Jovan Damjanovic have met with Mr. Gasi and exhaustively explained to him current situation related to solving problems of members of Roma community from the Konik 1 settlement.
Secretariat of World Roma Organization Rromanipen