Velino Selo - Working Together Towards Recovery

Jun 10, 2014

A dozen villagers carried hundreds of heavy bags on their shoulders seemingly effortlessly

A quarter of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is directly affected by the consequences of unprecedented floods in our country. Velino Selo near Bijeljina is one of the villages that remained the longest under water, and whose inhabitants were, fortunately, successfully evacuated after the embankments collapsed under the water torrent.

The water receded, leaving extensive damages; once rich and fertile land is now virtually devastated. Every day since the water receded, the whole community has put forth all possible efforts to restore production and create conditions for normal life.

The village of Velino Selo is an illustration of efforts vested by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in making sure that help reaches those who need it most. Thanks to funding by the Government of Norway and USAID, in the first week after the water receded, farmers and breeders received 18 tonnes of fertiliser, 500 sacks of corn, and 30 tonnes of concentrated animal feed for re-planting and attending to the underfed livestock.

As the delivery truck approached the village of Velino Selo, locals were already waiting. In less than an hour, 30 tonnes of animal feed were unloaded. A dozen villagers, between the ages of 20 and 65, carried hundreds of heavy bags on their shoulders seemingly effortlessly. Their shared fate has united the locals and they are now wholeheartedly helping one other to remedy the damages as quickly as possible.

Although the water torrent struck everything in its path, residents in the affected areas are jointly find ways to adapt to a difficult situation, save what can be saved, and  provide a living for themselves and their loved ones.

With more than half of all municipalities and nearly one million residents in BiH affected by floods, assistance efforts have now turned from a humanitarian campaign to a far more demanding stage of reconstruction and recovery. Together with other international organisations, UNDP will continue its actions to assist communities such as  the village of Velino Selo.