Tent City For Refugees Near Ostrovačice To Open Today, With Capacity of 60 People

A tent city was built this week in Ostrovačice near Brno, to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. The maximum capacity of the site, which consists of IKEA houses and necessary facilities, will be up to 60 people, and it should come into operation today. Photo credit: JMK

Brno, 3 June (BD) – A tent city has been established this week in Ostrovačice, near Brno, to address the consequences of the relocation of the KACPU assistance centre for Ukrainian refugees. This purpose-built facility, which has a maximum capacity of 60 people, will open today at 1pm. 

“We decided to build this tent city for a simple reason,” said Jan Grolich, governor of the South Moravian Region. “With the relocation of the KACPU assistance centre, we needed to build capacity for temporary accommodation for people who have to be vetted by Hungary. This usually takes one or two days, so we have to provide accommodation for them. We decided, following the example of other regions, to do it in this form as a short temporary accommodation, as was previously available at the Brno Exhibition Centre.” 

The place was selected by the state emergency service (IZS), has a paved area and is easily accessible. “We considered a number of options, and we invited the IQ Roma Servis association to help us operate the tent city. People staying here will sleep here for two days and either head to more stable accommodation or be returned. It turns out that in the latest, more rigorous vetting, 20% of these people arriving have Hungarian citizenship and are thus not entitled to refugee aid,” said Grolich.  He added that this tent city will not serve the same purpose as the one in Prague. “It will not be used for long-term accommodation or for people returning to us to receive other social benefits. It will have the same purpose as the accommodation at the Brno Exhibition Centre.”

According to the director of the South Moravian Fire Rescue, Jiří Pelikán, the houses also contain wooden floors to increase comfort, and there are tents for communal meals or sanitary facilities. On Wednesday, 70 firefighters were deployed to build the houses and facilities. As confirmed by the director of the regional directorate of the Czech Police, Leoš Tržil, police officers will only be on site to guard public order.  Petr Máčal, director of IQ Roma Servis, said the NGO’s staff will be there to provide basic services and counselling, or to run leisure programs for children.

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