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[Campaign update] Kolubara landslide: Images of devastation, people waiting for compensation [Serbia]

Author: Nikola Perusic, CEE Bankwatch Network, Published on: 3 July 2013

...People in the village Junkovac, near the Kolubara lignite mine...were threatened by a landslide, which has now slowed down, but still poses a risk for them if they don’t move. Yet, despite of being scared, they are not leaving their houses for fear of not receiving adequate compensation from the Kolubara mining company...A hill nearby Junkovac started sliding down towards the village - apparently because of the pressure put on it by overburden from two mine fields that was dumped in the vicinity. Operations on one of the two fields...have been supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the German KfW banking group...The state energy company EPS which operates the Kolubara mines and which is responsible for the management of the overburden was working with bulldozers to slow down the landslide...Approximately 40 houses in the village are still in danger and authorities are preparing to relocate and compensate eleven families soon - the rest should follow at a later time...It remains to be seen whether the offered compensation is appropriate. Except for one family (whose house was destroyed), all have decided to stay until then and not accept the offer of temporary relocation to Vreoci...[O]thers don’t want to leave for fear of being cheated. They prefer to stay, even though the landslide could change course again. [The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited EPS to respond but it did not do so.]

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Related companies: EPS (Elektroprivreda Srbije) KfW