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22.10.2009

Swiftly forgotten

   

The floods in Western Ukraine a year ago caused an unprecedented amount of damage. Torrential rain flooded over a thousand populated areas, damaged more than two thousand bridges, destroyed or damaged 4.8 thousand kilometres of road. The President issued a decree on 31 July 2008 ordering the Government to allocate extra resources to normalize the environmental situation and compensate damages, as well as eliminating the consequences, together with regional administrations, in the shortest possible time.

The Accounting Chamber of Ukraine has reported the results of an audit to check how efficiently money from the State Budget aimed at eliminating the consequences was spent.  The Chamber found that the Government has not created an effective system for preventing and reacting to manmade or natural disasters and that the activities of ministries and other central and local authorities have not been coordinated.

Anti-flood measures have been carried out ad hoc and unsystematically without ensuring effective and comprehensive protection from floods. This was one of the causes of the inadequate organization of measures to eliminate the consequences of the floods of 23-27 July in the Carpathian region, and the ineffective management of the money allocated for this purpose.

Having spent more than 4 billion UAH at the beginning of 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers did not ensure the planned repair and renewal work on the proper scale.  At the beginning of this year work had not been completed on three thousand (out of over 7 thousand) State-owned or municipal structures. Local authorities virtually did not ensure bank fortification and measures against earth slips.

The list of what has not been done is long.

The auditors also established numerous cases where legislation was not adhered to by central authorities in their capacity as central curator for the State-allocated funds.

The authority responsible for roads spent over 100 million UAH with violations of procedure and with the roads not made ready for use.  During 2009 the same authority has not produced design and costing documentation for over 50 percent of objects where repairs are needed, which will lead to their becoming more expensive and will heighten social tension in the areas affected.

The Accounting Chamber also notes that the Transcarpathian department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs carried out capital repairs worth more than half a million UAH in Uzhhorod which was not in the disaster area.

From a report issued by the Accounting Chamber’s Press Service

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