As part of the Municipal Environmental and Economic Governance (MEG) Project, financed by the Government of Switzerland and implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), municipalities and cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina will receive grants for development investments in the amount of 4,5 million KM. Final outcome of these investments will be reconstruction of water and sanitary network, with improved communal services for over 70,000 citizens, as well as support to 115 companies through employment and self-employment opportunities that will produce 195 new jobs.
„In four years, from 2016 until 2020, Switzerland will invest 12 million CHF through the MEG project to support 18 municipalities with the population of 846.000 people. The partner municipalities will match their funds with the project and invest in providing clean drinking water, building more sewage systems, better protecting environment and health of the population and creating better conditions for businesses. This is an important step forward in local development“ said Ambassador of Switzerland to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Andrea Rauber Saxer.
In the past one year, municipalities and cities participating in MEG project committed to improve public services, listened to the needs of their local communities and worked on improving results management, which caused better networking, inclusion of vulnerable groups and responding to their needs, as well as improvement of communal services. In this way, they accomplished work progress and fulfilled the criteria for the allocation of grants for co-financing and implementation of priority investments from development strategies exclusively in the sectors of environment and economy. These investments include reconstruction of communal infrastructure such as reconstruction of water supply network, reduction of water losses and reconstruction of sewers, as well as investment in economy, support to entrepreneurship, stimulus and employment.
„These local communities set standards and examples for other local governments on introducing EU practices, and directly contributing to bringing the country closer both to the EU and to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals“said Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina and UNDP Resident Representative, during the signing ceremony.
Municipal mayors of Bosanska Krupa, Gračanica, Gradačac, Gradiška, Kalesija, Kostajnica, Kozarska Dubica, Prnjavor, Sanski Most, Teslić, Tešanj and Žepče, and mayors of Bihać, Cazin, Doboj, Prijedor and Tuzla signed agreements on the allocation of grants with the UNDP and Embassy of Switzerland representatives, and also had the opportunity to present the results of work of their local self-governing units in the past period.
Municipal Mayor of Gradiška Zoran Adžić said that they will use resources they will receive for the reconstruction of water tower.
„It is one of the rare water towers in BiH that is brick built and, besides the functional, user and technological value, it has architectural value as well“ he said, with the explanation that it will include reconstruction of steel reservoir, ascending pipes and introduction of remote management of all water supply objects in the area of Gradiška municipality.
The financial resources in the amount of 4,5 million KM for the first year was secured by the Government of Switzerland through MEG project, while partner municipalities and cities committed to secure identical amounts from their own sources.
About Project: MEG Project aims to improve institutional capacities of 18 partner local self-governing units (cities and municipalities) to apply principles of good governance, secure quality of local services, have efficient interaction with relevant actors and create environment suitable for business, enabling opening of new jobs and economic growth. Project especially pays attention to the environment and business sectors.