Balkan flood relief swings into action

Serbian flood relief: Father Sasa Stojanovic with representatives from Perth's various Serbian clubs, Borislav Krsic, Pavle Novakovic, Milan Jelesic snd Kosta Susnjar.
Serbian flood relief: Father Sasa Stojanovic with representatives from Perth's various Serbian clubs, Borislav Krsic, Pavle Novakovic, Milan Jelesic snd Kosta Susnjar.

Thousands of Balkan diasporas who call Perth home are sick with worry as their families and friends deal with the most catastrophic flood on record.

Nedzada Loncar’s hometown of Doboj in Bosnia-Herzegovina was destroyed by floods within hours.

The street she grew up in was inundated and her family members were all displaced from their homes.

‘They will need to rebuild nearly everything ” even a daily needs hospital was ruined so it’s hard for people to seek help,’ she said.

Ms Loncar’s immediate family escaped with photo albums and clothes, but her aunt’s family who live closer to the river, were not so lucky.

‘They were saved from their rooftop ” the first wave came and two hours later Doboj was under water.’

The rain has stopped, but the flooding continues and the recovery is yet to start.

In Perth, the various Serbian societies and churches are busy organising fundraising events to help with the aftermath of the flood.

Co-ordination Group for Flood Relief of Serbian People spokeswoman Vesna Gaponov said the committee’s branches had collectively raised more than $20,000 in three days.

An initial sum went to the Red Cross on Friday to buy supplies, and transfers of supplies to Serbia and Bosnia will occur each Friday as a result of the Perth fundraising.

‘If an event occurs of cataclysmic proportions, affecting three nations (with over a million of people displaced), I feel it deserves more than a passing line in newspapers and a side mention on very few news broadcasts,’ she said.

A fundraiser is set for June 7 in Maddington. Details of flood relief efforts are at facebook.com/SerbiaFloodRelief