CHALLENGE OF FLOODS
Floods are one of the most serious challenges the Carpathians have always faced with. If in the XIX century floods in the Carpathians happened on the average once in a period of eighteen years, already in the XX century – every four-five years. And in Zakarpattya destructive floods took place three times during the last 10 years.
Floods that took place in Zakarpattya in November 1998 and March 2001 with their human victims, huge financial and moral losses attracted attention to the problem of floods not only of the Ukrainian government but also of international organizations, foremost due to the fact that trans-frontier Tisza basin relates to the territory of five countries, among which such EU members as Slovakia, Romania, Hungary are.
The last destructive flood that took place in July 2008 on the territories of six Ukrainian regions (Chernivetska, Ivano-Frankivska, Lvivska, Zakarpatska, Winnitska, Ternopilska oblasts), and regions of Romania, Slovakia, Moldova also took away human lives, bringing destruction of thousands of houses, hundreds of kilometers of highways and railways, damage to the harvest and well-being of people. In Ukraine it inflicted losses of 7 billion grn., destroyed more than 1500 dwellings, damaged 553 road bridges and 728 footbridges, more than a thousand kilometers of highways.
Floods in the Carpathians bring not only large destructions but also epidemiological threats: large areas of agricultural lands, animal cemeteries, places of storage of oil products and other chemicals dangerous for the health and life of people and the environment have been flooded.
Nowadays for execution of the provisions of the Carpathian Framework Convention effective collaboration in the sphere of the development of waterproof constructions, flood warning system between Ukraine, Hungary and Slovakia was adjusted with the promotion of EU bodies. It’s due to realization of mutual Ukrainian-Hungarian project of antiflood protection in the basin of Tisza river that the last flood in Zakarpattya was predicted and enabled to avoid casualties and destructions on both banks of the river. Project on the improvement of ecological situation is being worked out for the Ukrainian-Romanian territory on the Tisza river, and a program of antiflood measures is also being worked out for all regions of the Ukrainian Carpathians.
A collaboration on improvement of hydro-meteorological observations system within the framework of international project “Antiflood Management of Ukraine and Slovakia” is proceeding that will enable operatively to get information about the amount of precipitations on the whole Carpathian territory of Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, and consequently to forecast floods and take protection measures. These are the first steps which should develop new specific ways of definite collaboration.
Avoidance and minimization of destructive consequences of floods is the task which can be solved only in a complex manner and with the support of many countries. This proves the importance of co-ordinating function of Council of Europe bodies one more time.
Kichkovskiy M., Gamor F., Kushnir B. Land Close to the Sky. Uzhhorod : Karpaty, 2008