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Kosova's Cities Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality is located 47 kilometres southeast of Prishtina on a fertile plain with good agricultural conditions. The municipality covers an area of 515 km² and consists of 63 villages.

In four villages there is a mixed population of Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs (Cėrnicė/Cernica, Ponesh/Poneš, Livoē i Epėrm/Gornji Livoć, Parallovė/Paralovo). Nine villages are exclusively inhabited by Kosovo Serbs (Šilovo/Shillovė, Gornje Kusce/Kuvcė e Epėrme, Stanišor/Stanishor, Koretište/Koretishtė, Pasjane/Pasjan, Parteš/Partesh, Donja Budriga/Budrigė e Poshtme, Draganac/Dragancė, and Straža/Strazhė), while one village (Dobrćane/Miresh) has a Turkish population. Kosovo Albanians, Turks, Roma, and Kosovo Serbs inhabit the centre of the city.

The surrounding area of Gjilan/Gnjilane is rich with minerals, including iron and lead sources located in Pogragjė/Podgradje, Pėrlepnicė/Prilepnica, and Kmetofc/Kmetovce.

At present, the total population of the Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality is approximately 130,000 persons.

As in the rest of Kosovo, the economic situation is dominated by high unemployment. All major companies were formerly state run and KTA has been tasked with resolving ownership issues.

Private entrepreneurship is expanding. 90% of the small-scale economic activity are restaurants, shops and import agencies whereas only 10% are devoted to local production activities. There are about 2,500 small, registered private businesses with 5,000 employees. UNCA, OSCE, KFOR and other international actors are among the major employers in the municipality.

Mercy Corps and ARC are involved in small-scale income generation projects tied with stabilisation/community development. IOM is currently implementing the Employment Assistance Service (EAS).

Gjilan/Gnjilane did not suffer as much damage as other parts of Kosovo during the 1999 conflict and therefore most of the infrastructure is intact with the exception of the villages of Zhegėr/Žegra, Cėrnicė/Cernica, and Zhegofc/Žegovac. Nevertheless, years of negligence, lack of maintenance and antagonism between the rural and urban area, have caused damage to the infrastructure in the municipality.

The traffic network is underdeveloped and roads are in poor condition. Heavy traffic with lorries and KFOR transports adds to the chaotic traffic situation and worsens road conditions. There is one company “Magjistralja” that provides road maintenance and KFOR completed a ring road project around the city that helps to lessen heavy traffic in town. In addition to the transportation enterprise “Kosovatrans” there are a number of private bus lines and taxis that provide transport.

The water supply is insufficient as it covers about 8% Gjilan/Gnjilane residents. The only water supplier in the municipality is “Hidroteknika”, which is in urgent need of rehabilitation (the Swiss government and ICRC have made large investments). There is one waste collection facility that serves about 60% of the municipality. The collection of garbage is regular, although there are some difficulties due to lack of lorries and equipment. EAR have built a modern garbage site in the municipality, which should alleviate some of the problems. KTA is in the process of merging municipal water and waste companies, hoping to make the services more efficient. This is expected to take place by 2004.

Sewage capacity is also very low with “Higjienoteknika” being the only sewage and sanitation company. The electricity situation in Gjilan/Gnjilane is similar to the other areas of Kosovo with KEK being the sole supplier.

The Regional Hospital is based in Gjilan/Gnjilane, and has 8 departments with a total of 435 beds. The Hospital employs 552 staff members (incl. two Kosovo Turks and one Kosovo Serb). In addition there is a Health Centre with 326 staff members (251 Kosovo Albanian, 60 Kosovo Serbs, 11 Turks and 2 Roma), that provide primary and secondary services to the population through a network of 12 Ambulantas and 17 smaller clinics. There are two psychiatric institutions (so called Protected House and Daily Care). The closest institution for the elderly and disabled is in Prishtinė/Priština.

There are 22 Kosovo Albanian primary schools with 18,792 pupils (incl. 96 Kosovo Turks) in the municipality and 15 Kosovo Serb primary schools with 21,708 pupils, as well as a Roma school attended by 65 pupils. There are also seven Kosovo Albanian high schools with 4,437 students and six Kosovo Serb high schools with 886 students. The five Roma secondary school students attend a Kosovo Serb school.

The total number of employees within the educational system of Gjilan/Gnjilane is 1, 578 (81% Kosovo Albanian and 19% Kosovo Serb). Salaries have been paid by UNMIK since January 2002. The phenomenon of double salaries is still present among the Kosovo Serb educational employees.

Due to the lack of school space, the Kosovo Albanian schools have three shifts a day. The average size of a Kosovo Albanian class is above 30. At university level, there is a Faculty for Teachers named Skėnderbeu, which is a branch of Prishtinė/Pristina University. It is not handled by municipal authorities but financed by the Ministry for Education, Science and Technology.

In general, the school buildings are in poor condition (many made worse by the earthquake of April 2002). Efforts have been made by international NGO’s to fund refurbishment and reconstruction of schools in the area. However, there are still a great number of schools that need reconstruction.

Currently there is only one mixed primary school in the village Ponesh/Poneš. Kosovo Albanian students attend morning classes and Kosovo Serbs students attend afternoon classes.

Sources: OSCE Mission in Kosovo

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my visit to GJILAN (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on
i was recintly in GJILAN for the 2004-2005 winter holtidys. I was there for 2 weeks and i thought it was great but it only snowed once which was a little disapointing. Seeing GJILAN was a great and i saw a magnifisant looking building i think it was called ''ASK COMPUTERS'' i went inside to have a look and it looked like something you would find in LONDON, UK

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