Completion of the Second Phase of Underwater UXO Clearance of Lake Ohrid
Underwater UXO Clearance of Lake Ohrid supported by United States of America through ITF continued in spring 2011. The second clearance phase started on 17 March 2011 and lasted for 35 operational days. The operations were implemented by specialized diving teams for underwater demining and EOD removal specialists from Republic of Macedonia Protection and Rescue Directorate (RM PRD) and supervised by P.E.D. Sava d.o.o.. In addition, ITF implemented tender procedure and procured two underwater metal detectors and water dredge for RM PRD to contribute to efficiency of UXO clearance and establishing national underwater UXO clearance capacity of Republic of Macedonia. Altogether, 17.670 m2 of lake`s bottom on locations Ohrid Harbour (13.750 m2), Peshtani (3.600 m2) and Lake Police (320 m2) were successfully cleared during the second clearance phase, by safely removing 871 UXO weighing more than 8.6 tons which were destroyed on location Stari Bunkeri in Kichevo, Macedonia.
On 20 April 2011, ITF has, in cooperation with RM PRD, organized closing ceremony for the successful completion of the second phase of the underwater UXO clearance of Lake Ohrid, at Hotel Diplomat in Ohrid. Slovenian Ambassador in Macedonia and representatives of Macedonian government, RM PRD, ITF, P.E.D. Sava d.o.o., UNDP, press and others participated at closing ceremony. All speakers expressed their sincere gratitude to the constant US support to Macedonian UXO Clearance Program, through the ITF, and exposed the importance of underwater UXO Clearance for Lake Ohrid which contributes to the development of tourist potential of the local community at Lake Ohrid as well as of the Republic of Macedonia.