The aftermath of the summer floods in Jarovnice, Slovakia
05 January 1999
Romnews Network reported on September 11, 1998 that in the aftermath of the July floods in Eastern Slovakia (see Roma Rights Summer 1998), many of the Roma of Slovakia's largest Roma settlement, Jarovnice, continued to live in temporary housing. According to official figures, 2585 of the 3650 registered permanent residents of Jarovnice are Roma. The floods claimed the lives of forty children and eleven adults from the settlement, and forced over 3,000 people in the region to leave their homes. According to the municipal council, around forty shacks in the settlement were completely destroyed, and currently around twenty families are living in "unimobunkas", portacabins. Romnews reported that when the then Slovak Prime Minister, Vladimir Mečiar, visited Jarovnice seventeen days after the floods, he did not find time to visit the Romani settlement, although this had been the worst affected. Several Slovak dailies reported that the Roma were not helping clear up the settlement, although official sources and local Roma denied this.
The dailies SME, Pravda and Národná Obroda all reported on November 9 that the floods had brought to the surface many previously hidden problems in Jarovnice, which were now being dealt with. 550 Roma families, for example, were currently receiving their social support partially in the form of coupons which could only be used to buy groceries in the local shop. SME suggested in its report that the work with the Roma in Jarovnice should be used as an example for other regions. (ERRC, Municipal Council of Jarovnice, Národná Obroda, Pravda, Romnews Network, SME)