Friday, December 15, 2006

Kosovo Protection Corps builds houses of Kosovo Serbs


Friday, 15 December 2006      

Svinjarë/Svinjare Decision Making Board Commends KPC 

PRISTINA – The UNMIK-PISG Svinjarë/Svinjare Decision Making Board met today in Svinjarë/Svinjare to formally determine whether the task, to repair and reconstruct properties in Svinjarë/Svinjare damaged in March 2004, as outlined by the Contact Group, has been fulfilled. The Board agreed that all possible reconstruction work has been completed by the KPC, and commended the KPC for its commitment and hard work over the past 6 months in Svinjarë/Svinjare, noting in particular the outstanding efforts of Protection Zone 4, which is based in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica. 

On 16 June 2006, upon the request of the Prime Minister and further to the project being prioritised by the Contact Group, the SRSG assigned the KPC to complete the reconstruction work in Svinjarë/Svinjare. This constitutes the KPC’s largest humanitarian assignment ever, and is an acknowledgement of the positive contribution the KPC has made through the implementation of civil reconstruction and humanitarian projects for all communities throughout Kosovo. 

The KPC made this work a top priority since it was assigned the task and by December, together with 5 contracted companies, completed all the repairs and reconstruction that were able to be done. A huge range of work was done, including complete reconstruction of properties, re-roofing and internal repairs, electrics, plastering, plumbing and carpentry.  

The original task outlined by the Contact Group increased by 50% after a property survey in the village. The KPC and others engaged in the project also undertook additional work in an endeavour to facilitate a successful and sustainable return and help create an economically viable and vibrant multi-ethnic community. Many outreach and confidence-building activities were conducted and the KPC also helped address the other needs and concerns of the displaced Kosovo Serbs. The KPC established an Operation Centre for Kosovo Serbs to visit and request information or assistance from the KPC. Weekly meetings were held to assess the progress achieved and respond to any questions or concerns from beneficiaries or their representatives and the receiving community. The KPC also cleared rubble from destroyed buildings and dug drainage ditches. A new sewage system is being constructed by Mitrovicë/Mitrovica Municipality and security has been improved by street lighting, a 24-hour KPS presence and the establishment this week of a Police Sub-Station.  

Throughout the last few months the KPC members, whose numbers have ranged from 29 to 72 on the site on a particular day, have worked very hard, establishing strong personal relationships with individual Kosovo Serb beneficiaries. The KPC, with the full support of the Government, which provided the funding required, should be commended for their effort and work, having contributed significantly to building trust and confidence among the Kosovo Serb community towards the KPC and the Kosovo Albanian residents in Svinjarë/Svinjare, as well as the physical reconstruction of the village that they have undertaken and managed. There have been three Kosovo Serb families residing in Svinjarë/Svinjare since the riots of March 2004 and before, and it is hoped that the displaced Kosovo Serbs return so that Svinjarë/Svinjare can become a thriving multi-ethnic community and the project a more complete success.

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