Local Government Profile
"Disaster risk reduction should be concern of each individual citizen. City of Niš joined the Campaign Making Cities Resilient to raise awareness and commitment of our local community to developing sustainable and systematic approach to local-level risk reduction and disaster management that will increase the security of our citizens and their property."
Hazard and vulnerability profile
City of Niš is the crossroads of the most important Balkan and European traffic routes. The territory of this city consists of five urban municipalities making up Niš, and 70 settlements with their cadastral municipalities. The territory of the City is intersected by three important directions of international road and railway traffic – several roads that connect the Balkans with Central and Western Europe, including Corridor X, and the axis which connects the Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea intersect the territory of City of Niš.
Being located at crossroad of Balkan and European roads, main transport corridors for hazardous substances pass through Nis. Characteristic of these corridors is that they pass through basins, directly alongside riverbeds, frequently through the central and past water intake systems for supplying settlements with water as well.
There are four companies – SEVESO plant operators on city territory. These companies all have accident protection plans and implement the necessary measures for prevention and restriction of chemical accident impact. In the previous ten-year period there have been no accidents characterized as emergency situations in these companies. Considering the position of the railway and road transport corridors, the location of the airport and of SEVESO operators, the entire city population could be considered at risk of exposure to technical and technological hazards.
There have been no breakdowns in the communal supply systems (electric power distribution, water supply, gas pipelines) with longer consumer-supply interruptions that would be considered emergency situations.
Threats to the city are fires caused by explosion incident and forest fires caused by human factor. There were up to 2 explosions per year. The average number of technical interventions with hazardous substances was 1.59 a year. The City of Niš and its surroundings have 15147 ha of forest land. Of this overall area, 10287 ha (65 %) of forest land is privately owned, and 4860 ha (35 %) is state-owned. Forest fires in Serbia were in 80% caused by human in 2007. Agriculture burning was the main reason or inobservance. Climat changes also influenced forest fire situation.
Since no technical and technological emergency situations were declared at the City level during the previous ten-year period, the individual and social risks of technical and technological emergency situations are acceptable. Also, considering the number of declared natural emergency situations in the territory of the City of Niš during the past ten-year period, and the number of persons at risk of damage, injury or death during these emergency situations, the individual and social risks of this type of emergency situations are unacceptable.
Niš region does not lie in an area of increased seismic activity. The last large earthquake in this area was in 1980 and the epicenter of that earthquake was in the Kopaonik region (8 degrees on the Mercali scale).
Floods pose much greater problem as much as landslides that affect around 25% of the territory of the whole country. The constructed flood defense structures and the conducted works on the riverbed do not entirely meet the safety and protection requirements, particularly due to the discontinuity of the protective embankments in places, the forming of pockets and broader unprotected areas. In certain sections the Nišava riverbed has been altered by the forming of illegal dumps, the appearance of sand islands under the influence of nature and the human factor, as well as by the fast and uncontrolled growth of vegetation.
There are 14 landslides on the territory of the City of Niš. The torrents cause degradation of the erosive surfaces and clogging of the riverbeds and accumulations endangering settlements and traffic infrastructure. Apart from natural factors, a considerable role in erosion, especially on steeper terrains, is played by man, as the manner of utilization of the land and the farming thereof is not adapted to the other natural factors that affect the onset and causing of erosion.
The frequency, intensity and duration of droughts has increased in Serbia due to increased air temperatures, decreased summer precipitation and longer dry spells which begin in mid-June and last through to August.
Natural emergency situations in the territory of the City were caused by floods, precipitation (clouding of water supply sources), the onset of landslides and epidemics of contagious diseases, as follows:
2006 – Emergency flood defense (City Municipality Crveni Krst)
2007 – Regular flood defense (Nišava River)
2007 – Water supply emergency (clouding of water supply sources)
2007 – Hepatitis А epidemic
2007 – Rabies epidemic (stray dogs and cats)
2008 – Landslides on the Hill of Mramor Village
2009 – Flu epidemic caused by А(H1N1) virus
2009 – Rabies epidemic (stray dogs and cats)
2010 – Emergency flood defense (City Municipality Niska Banja)
2010 – Regular flood defense (Nišava and surrounding rivers)
2010 – Water supply emergency (clouding of water supply sources)
Disaster Risk Reduction Activities
New Law on Emergency Situations adopted in 2009 has laid the foundation for putting an integrated protection and rescue system in place in the Republic of Serbia. It enabled
the pooling of all the available capacities and resources on the level of the City of Niš and their efficient deployment in an organized response to all forms of emergency situations. The new law provisions should solve the basic problem encountered in practice today – lack of coordination in emergency management due to the competence being divided between various ministries and governmental bodies, which naturally reflects on the local self-government as well.
The local self-government units organize protection from natural and other disasters and fire prevention and ensure the necessary conditions for recovery or mitigation of the consequences thereof. In exercising their rights and fulfilling their obligations in the field of protection and rescue the local self-government units, through their competent bodies:
• enact a decision on organizing and operating of civil protection in their territory and ensure the implementation thereof in accordance with the integrated protection and rescue system;
• enact a protection and rescue system development plan and program for their territory, in accordance with the Long-Term Protection and Rescue Development Plan of the Republic of Serbia;
• plan and define the sources of Financing for the development, construction and execution of the safety and rescue tasks and civil protection development and the implementation of civil protection measures and tasks in their areas;
• form Emergency Headquarters;
• cooperate directly with the competent authority, other governmental bodies, municipalities, commercial companies and other legal entities;
• cooperate with the regions and municipalities of neighboring countries;
• harmonize their protection and rescue plans with the Emergency Protection and rescue Plan of the Republic of Serbia;
• define the critical facilities-commercial companies and other legal entities of particular importance for protection and rescue;
• provide telecommunications and information support for the requirements of protection and rescue, as well as joining the telecommunications and information system of the Observation, Notification and Alert Service and connecting to it;
• prepare and adopt a Threat Assessment and Emergency Protection and Rescue Plan for their areas;
• monitor dangers, inform and provide early public warning in case of danger; procure and maintain alarm devices within the integrated public alert system of the Republic of Serbia, take part in preparing the acoustics study for the territory of the municipality;
• harmonize plans for protection and rescue in emergency situations with neighboring municipalities.
City of Nis is the first city in Serbia to develop the comprehensive city safety strategy with the vision of economically, socially and environmentally safe city that is permanently improving its institutions for risk reduction and promotion of safety, acting proactively and properly resolving risks and threats to the security for a purpose of increasing the quality of life of its citizens.
The documents have been posted as received. The designations employed do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities.
- NIŠ CITY PROMOTED THE CITY SAFETY STRATEGY
- MEDCEUR 2009
- CITY OF NIS IN USAID PPES PROGRAMME -November 2008
- CITY OF NIS IS PREPARING CITY SAFETY STRATEGY - April 2009
- NIS AND SOFIA PARTNERS TO RESPONDING TO EMERGENCY CRISIS - August 2010
- CITY OF VIENNA CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM IN NIS -April 2010
- CITIES OF VIENNA AND NIS - PARTNERS IN CRISIS MANAGEMENT - September 2010
- ACTIVITIES ON REDUCING THE RISKS FROM NATURAL DISASTERS