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It is easy to ignore major problems when we are not immediately affected by them. A prime example for this is the irrigation of agricultural areas.

The most advanced and efficient watering systems can be found in the Near East region. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the region is almost all desert and therefore it is very hard to find any sources of water. Due to its utility the technology has found use in The Republic of Macedonia through the drip system.

Primitive drip irrigation has been used since ancient times. Modern drip irrigation began its development in Germany in 1860 when researchers began experimenting with subsurface irrigation using clay pipe to create combination irrigation and drainage systems. Research was later expanded in the 1920s to include the application of perforated pipe systems. The usage of plastic to hold and distribute water in drip irrigation was later developed in Australia by Hannis Thill. Usage of a plastic emitter in drip irrigation was developed in Israel by Simicha Blass and his son Yeshayahu.  Instead of releasing water through tiny holes easily blocked by tiny particles, water was released through larger and longer passageways by using velocity to slow water inside a plastic emitter. The first experimental system of this type was established in 1959 by Blass who partnered later (1964) with Kibbutz Hatzerim to create an irrigation company called Netafim. Together they developed and patented the first practical surface drip irrigation emitter.

DripirrigationThe new trends in this technology include underground watering systems which are mounted before the crops have been planted and it’s maintained via the usage of different chemicals safe for the crops. Also there are sensors that detect the level of humidity in the soil and through that the farmers know how much water the plants need.

The drip system has lead to a revolution in the irrigation of agricultural areas because of these main reasons. First the digging of canals has become irrelevant, the system is just mounted and then maintained. Secondly the system is good at keeping all of the fertilizer and nutrients in the soil  due to the concentration of drip around the roots of the plants. Also the leveling of the fields is unnecessary because the system can be adjusted to the surface, and erosion and the growth of vegetation has been minimized.

In the Republic of Macedonia financial help is given to the farmers who want to implement this technology in their fields through the Program for rural development and AFSARD programs. The farmers must meet the pre defined conditions if they want to be financed. There is a 30 to 60 day waiting period after the day of application, then the results are published and the farmers that have met the conditions will get their finances around 6 months after the day of application. The farmers get around 50% off of the full cost of the system through these programs.

The drip system has proven to be one of the best ways to irrigate the fields and it is its practicality that makes it so unique and usable in all parts of the world.


It will always be easier to speak rather than take action. But there are some who make amazing achievements under circumstances where every mistake is costly and succeed in making the world a better place to live in. It is a known fact that we must use our resources as smart as we can, that is why Mekorot, the company which supplies water to all Israel, accomplishes incredible triumphs and set a prime example on how to use our scarce resources.

mekorot_eng_0002_Layer-3The rational usage of our resources is the basis for efficiency, especially when the resources are hard to find. Israel’s situation has lead them to pioneering some groundbreaking technologies in order to use the natural resources. So there is no surprise that Mekorot is one of the leading companies in water distribution technology. The best examples for this are the 35 desalination plants which use sea water and then make it safe for household use. This water will cover 75% of the household needs and will be distributed to them via the newest and most advanced waterways. Also Mekorot is the leading company in the world for drilling and finding underground masses of water at a depth of 1.5 kilometers underground. But the most impressive of most accomplishments is that loss of water along all waterways is just 3%. In comparison the loss of water along all waterways in the Republic of Macedonia is over 50%. Besides the projects in Israel, Mekorot has projects in Cyprus, Argentina, Azerbaijan, India, Central Asia, Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and the Balkan countries.

In October 2015 Mekorot will take part in organizing Watec 2015 in Tel Aviv. Watec 2015 is one of the biggest and most prestigious conferences for water quality and technologies to use it.

We can safely say that Mekorot succeeds in making Israel and the world a better place. With that Mekorot is reaching its ideal and is setting a great example on how to use water.



Video borrowed from

The Jewish Cemetery of Bitola/Monastir ‘BEIT HAIM’ (Home of the Living) was founded in 1497, only five years after their expulsion from Spain.  This is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Jewish Cemetery on the Balkans. It has served the Jewish community of Monastir for more than 400 years.

During World War I, when the front line was passing through the town, Jewish cemeteries suffered severe damage from the bombing of the city conducted by the Central Powers (Germany and Bulgaria) throughout 1916.

When Rabbi Shabtai Dzhaen arrived in Bitola in 1924, he saw that the cemetery lies on a sharp slope on the outskirts of the city and is in a very bad condition. Most of the monuments were destroyed and served as construction material. Sometimes the inscriptions were disposed, but often stayed as ornaments. The remaining tombstones were scattered, broken and moss was spread all over them. Rabbi Dzhaen traveled to America and there he gathered contributions from the Jewish-born migrants from Bitola/Monastir. When he returned in 1929, the rabbi initiated an action to build a very nice and solid protective wall of stone with iron minted David shields, and arrange the cemetery itself.  This wall/fence preserved Bitola’s Jewish Cemetery from further desecration and destruction even during the Bulgarian occupation of Macedonia in World War II.

евр гроб1The Cemetery was abandoned and left to ruin after the deportation of all Bitola’s Jews in 1943. The Bulgarian soldiers had used the gravestones to pave the military camp, the parade grounds, the floors of their barracks, the swimming pool, the walls of the washrooms, sidewalks etc…. All that was left were smashed pieces of gravestones strewn all over the Cemetery.

In 1961, the City Council of Bitola decided to remodel the entire complex and to create a park that would carry the memories of the former Jewish community and to put this memorial park under government protection. The project was developed and initial calculations were made, parts of the funds for spatial reconstruction were assigned, but nothing was undertaken.

A civil campaign to restore the cemetery and create a Holocaust memorial complex there began in 1997 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of its foundation. Considerable work was carried out, including the restoration of the monumental entrance gate, declared a national historic-cultural monument. It has a central Gothic arch flanked by two Gothic-arched windows and features a facade whose upper part is decoratively ribbed.[1]

This initiative lost its momentum in 2005 when work began on the construction of the Memorial Center in Skopje, but it regained it this summer when the Memorandum for cooperation 2015  between Israel and Bitola/Monastir was signed. It envisages the creation of a memorial park to honor the Jewish population that lived here and further nurture the good relationship between Israel and Macedonia. ARHAM of course, had an essential role in the signing of the agreement.

Today, the Cemetery is fully enclosed by a wall (three sides are masonry and part of the front is decorative iron grille work). The main gate stands at the bottom of the hill. Several thousand grave markers remain, but most are illegible and only a few – in the lower left corner as seen from the entrance – are in good condition. Most of the gravestones lie flat, in the Sephardic manner.




Jovica Perisic is an innovator from Pirot, Serbia who devised a solid fuel fireplace which uses less fuel. The fireplace uses 30 to 50% less firewood and causes less pollution.

According to the innovator, the smoke that comes out of the fireplace is more like steam rather than the smoke coming out of the regular fireplaces which is filled with toxins.

Thanks to this fireplace, Jovica Perisic’s family, which uses wood to keep warm, now uses only 3 cubic meters of fire wood to keep a 45 square meter area warm.

„The fireplace was constructed back in 2011 and was tested by the experts at the Mechanical Faculty from Nis. Everyone was delighted because of the low emissions of toxic gases compared to the regular fireplaces that use wood. The smoke that comes out of the regular fireplaces is very toxic and has a composition of explosive gases, carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides among others, and has tiny particles which help pollute the habitat” – says Jovica.

He added that his fireplace burns these explosive gases in a controlled manner.

Source: Tanjug

photo 5The ambitious project for the reconstruction of the Eiffel Tower which the architect studio Moatti-Riviere started in 2012 will now also include the incorporation of wind and solar power in order to power the first floor of the building. Also, the first floor will employ LED lighting in order to save energy and place wind generators so that the water pumps would use less energy. That’s not all, due to the abundance of rainwater, the engineers are coming up with a plan to use this resource as well.

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After the energy efficiency reconstruction will have been completed, the first floor will get a conference hall, a 200-seat cinema and a visitor’s centre. All of them will be connected with walkways and will provide viewers with a spectacular panorama view of Paris at a height of 57 meters.

The Eiffel Tower project is an interesting and innovative solution in the domain of energy efficiency to this type of architecture, which simultaneously is a landmark, and undoubtedly will become even more attractive for visitors.

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photo 4The designer Michael Jantzen has come up with an interesting projection of a self sustaining solar farm for growing food. It is best suited in an urban environment because its only source of power is the sun. The solar farm has a cylindrical shape composed of two parts. One is glass and the other is a closed area and it’s made of steel. Inside there is a pool for the purpose of breeding fish, while the feces are used as fertilizer for the plants.

photo 2 It is open during the warmer days so that the temperature inside doesn’t get too hot and for the purpose of ventilating. In winter the structure is completely closed to prevent the plants and pool from freezing.

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The middle area of the building is where the pool is situated. There are decorative plants around it . This makes the building serve as a botanical garden as well as an aquarium. The middle area has cylinders made of material that stores energy which then can be used during the winter to regulate the temperature. Furthermore, there is a solar panel that follows the position of the sun and accumulates the energy and then reflects it inside the garden.

This is an excellent project for sustainable growth of energy and a solution for growing organic food in urban areas.

photo 4Passive houses are the newest standard in construction work which allows energy efficiency, comfort, economic viability, easily accessible, and at the same time environmentally friendly. The passive house isn’t a brand, but a concept which every company can modify. The houses have proven to be very practical and use 90% less energy than typical European buildings and 75% less than the newest buildings. The energy savings are more visible in the warmer regions due to the need of ventilation.

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The passive houses are known for their comfort, commodity and limitless architectural design. They use internal sources of energy of the building, the main power source is solar energy, but the real energy efficiency comes from the special built-in materials that are great insulators like the windows, the external walls, floors and ceilings with special insulation materials.

The ventilation systems are an integral part of passive houses and not only do they give high quality air to the building, but they also take the heat from the used air and spread it throughout the house. With this ventilation system the usage of energy is lessened and the living qualities and comfort are improved.

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The Western Balkans Sustainable Financing Facility (WeBSEFF) which works under The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development proved to be a very successful project for the development of energy efficiency of the Western Balkans.

The first stage of the project lasted from 2009 to 2013 in which 59 million euros were used for projects related to energy efficiency and resulted in a decrease in CO2 emissions equivalent to the removal of 77000 cars a year and decrease in energy usage.

With the success of the first stage of the project, WeBSEFF decided that a second program would start in October 2013 and would have a credit line facility of 75 million euros which will be available to use for companies, public institutions and municipalities in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia.

The program can secure up to 2 million euros for private companies and up to 2.5 million for municipalities. The applicants must pertain to certain conditions in order to get the funds. If the purpose of the application is to modernize outdated technologies, it must guarantee that the energy consumption or CO2 emissions will be lowered by 20%. If the applicants want to modernize their buildings then they must guarantee that the buildings will be 30% more efficient. The grants for the companies are from 5 up to 10%, while for the municipalities 10 to 20%.

The partner banks unclude: Raiffeisen Bank, UniCredit Bank from BiH, Zagrebacka Banka, Erste Bank, PBZ from Croatia, Banca Intesa, Komercijalna Banka from Serbia, Ohridska Banka, NLB Tutunska Banka from Macedonia.

According to WeBSEFF’s official website around 11 million euros have been used from the investment fund in Macedonia. The main purpose of their utilization are energy efficient and renewable energy projects. The majority of these funds have been used in Skopje.


This is the BP Helios House. It is an eco-friendly gas station that sells gasoline, but it also helps educate the public on eco issues.

Water: The House exceeds today’s eco-standards for collecting, filtering and distribution of water. The roof collects rain water which then goes through a series of filters in order to get rid of carbon hydrates that can pollute underground water supplies. Only after this the water is used to water green areas.


Heat: Helios is designed to minimize the concentration of heat in one place known as the “heat island” effect. The green roof is filled with plants that are resistant to droughts, therefore the need for heating is lowered. Also the quantity of rain water and the oxidation of air is minimized by absorbing CO2.

Light: 90 solar panels produce enough electricity to power 2-3 houses. This reduces CO2 from the atmosphere equivalent to around 2268 kilograms of CO2 per year. The energy efficient lighting uses 16% less electricity compared to the traditional gas stations.

Materials: The wood comes from renewable sources, the tiles are 100% recycled glass and it also uses stainless steel. The steel parts of the building can be recycled.

Until the middle of the 19th century the river Dragor had an irregular stream, irregular and variable course, and every change left a number of muddy areas in and under the town. These unpredictable and common changes have been memorized in folk stories, chronicles and have been confirmed by the latest archeological findings.

The construction of the stone shores and the regulation of the water flow went through several stages over a few decades. For the Ottoman rulers of the 19th century, whose governing buildings surrounded the river, the primary task was to tame and regulate the water flow. This all started in the year 1850 and the main people behind it were the Grand Vizier Darbuhar Resid Pasa and the Englishman Edmund Spencer.

The idea and the initiative were given by the Englishman. He was a military person, captain by rank. He had traveled through the Orient and then went to Macedonia, probably to gather intelligence. While in Macedonia he had meetings in Bitola/Monastir and Struga with the Macedonian family Robevci and Dimitrija Miladinov. He was also asked to help with the modernizing of the Ottoman Army and therefore stayed in Bitola where he helped out the Third Army.

During his first inspection of the military buildings, among them the hospital, he was shocked by the number of soldiers affected by the fever. It wasn’t hard to see that the muddy areas were the ones to blame for the poor condition, especially the ones around the barracks. He had presented his assumptions to German and Italian doctors that worked in Bitola and they agreed with him. Because he wanted to help, Edmund Spencer came up with a plan to dry out the mud fields, but he knew that there would be stiff resistance from the Grand Vizier so he came up with a cunning plan. “I slightly hinted that one day even he the Grand Vizier could become a victim of the situation” said Spencer. That really scared the Ottoman and he immediately began to work on fixing the situation. A command was given that all people must help with the drainage of the fields and the construction of the walls on the shore. “Everyone helped, even the fat people among the crowd, the lazy Turks, the Jews, the Armenians, people who had never touched a shovel were seen digging drainage systems” – a delighted Spenser writes in his memoirs. Bricks and rocks were brought to the construction site where cement was mixed in order to build the walls. Such was the building momentum that people began to work on unplanned activities like paving the streets from butcher leftovers and all sorts of unsanitary hazards were cleaned up.

This action became an example for getting good results based on activities for general benefit, through joint effort and good organization. Because the road from Bitola to Solun was entirely ruined,  a decision was made in 1858 to reconstruct it as well.