Winter in Kosovo
The first winter following the war was not an easy time. The streets
were covered with thick ice making the simple act of walking a life-threatening
Electricity is generated from one old and one ancient
power plant near Pristina. Throughout the winter, days would go
by without any electricity, and in Pristina, this meant no heat.
Everyone had a different theory why the electricity was such a problem.
Some blamed former KLA soldiers who were given management jobs at
the power plant but knew little about engineering. Others suggested
it was a mafia conspiracy to keep the cost of black market dieselused
to run private generatorsinflated. A more likely explanation
is that, prior to the war, the plant was managed by Serb engineersall
who left or were driven out of Kosovo when the war ended. Today,
the plant is co-managed by UNMIK and local staff.
Many cafés had diesel generators for heat,
lights, and electricity (to run the espresso machines). Other commercial
establishments were only able to operate during daylight hours or
by using kerosene lamps and heatersor often with no heat at
all. Public buildings such as hospitals and schools were often the
worst off. The schools in Pristina were only open a few hours a
day because of lack of heat, and the main hospital in Pristina often
suffered power outages, despite UNMIK giving them priority status.