Roma families survive in Slovenia

Danilo Hudorovič and his family

Romani man collecting water

Danilo Hudorovič said "I don’t know how we will survive the winter. My children are living without water, without electricity, in awful conditions and I feel I can’t do anything about it. I went to the mayor several times asking him to help me and my family. The whole community has been asking him for years to provide us with one water pipe close to the settlement.”

Danilo lives with his partner, and three children in the informal Roma settlement Goriča vas, Ribnica, Slovenia. The settlement has no water supply, no electricity, no toilets, sewerage or drainage.

Despite several attempts to improve this situation, including meetings between Danilo, local and national government and Amnesty International, the mayor of Ribnica stated that he could not provide the settlement with access to water because it would be illegal under Slovenian law. As of February 2011, Danilo Hudorovič and his family still lived in the Roma settlement Goriča vas, without water and electricity.

 

Dobruška vas settlement
Ivan Kavčič and his partner Vanja Hočevar live in the Roma settlement of Dobruška vas in Škocjan. They use water from a polluted local stream for drinking, cooking and washing. Their neighbour Ljubo Novak lives in a shack next to the stream with his partner Dunja Hočevar and their 11 children. Ljubo said to Amnesty International that sewage from other houses flows into the stream as well as waste from an animal slaughterhouse. Dunja Hočevar told us that her children get rashes on their skin and diarrhoea when they use this water.

Pollution in stream in Slovenia

“We use the water from the stream for everything, for drinking, washing… We also go to fetch water one kilometre away from a pipe but people who live nearby chase us away. If we can, we bring 200 litres for drinking and cooking. I have four children who drink from baby bottles.”

In the summer she said they wash themselves in the stream. A paediatrician from Novo mesto confirmed that children from the Roma settlement of Dobruška vas fall sick with diarrhoea and Rotavirus far more than children from other settlements due to bad hygiene conditions.