Support to Flood Recovery and Risk Mitigation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

What is the project about

 Šamac during the floods in May 2014

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is vulnerable to a number of natural hazards such as floods, landslides, droughts, fires and earthquakes. The floods in May 2014, the worst in 120 years, affected a quarter of its territory and showed once again how disaster prone the country is. May floods caused damages to infrastructure, agriculture, public institutions and the local economy in the amount of 1.67 billion USD. Rebuilding what was damaged and revitalizing the livelihoods of one million persons affected have been one of the greatest challenges to the country, reminding that more investment, focus and attention should be paid to prevention and preparedness.  

What we do

 Domaljevac-Šamac - road damage in floods

The project “Support to Flood Recovery and Risk Mitigation in BiH” supports the recovery efforts of the UN Flood Recovery Programme by protecting the vast investments made through recovery and by building back better focusing on prevention. It will help build the country’s resilience to the onset of natural disasters by reducing the risks that future floods may cause and taking the necessary protective measures to manage the possibility of future flooding.

The project has two components: 1) support to the restoration of functionality of public wastewater systems, and 2) technical support to flood protection.

The existing public wastewater systems in affected areas were severely damaged. Silt deposits inside the pipes can prevent them from functioning, causing this wastewater to backup into homes and public facilities, threatening the quality of drinking water. De-silting and making the repairs needed on the wastewater pipelines helps to restore the pipelines services. The health and safety of more than 7,000 direct beneficiaries in some 2,000 households will be directly improved through this action.  

The flooding led to the erosion of surrounding land. The destruction of watershed assets, homes, and the deposits of large amounts of sediment led to landslides and the dislodgment of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). River dredging (along with mine action activities), the fortification of riverbeds/banks, and the rehabilitation of dykes, dams and bridges will limit these instances from recurring.  These activities will mitigate the risks of flooding for 3,200 households, 8 public buildings, 1200 acres of agricultural land with 11,500 direct beneficiaries.

Results so far

Reestablishing functioning public wastewater systems started in February in ten municipalities, and public wastewater systems in five municipalities already restored to fully functioning. Forthcoming activities include construction works on the Bosna River and its tributaries which will mitigate the urban as well as rural areas from flooding based on hydraulic and environmental assessments. These flood mitigation activities will be directed to six to eight locations across the country and will consist of cleaning the river and the coast lining and building a new embankment to reinforce the river’s coastline defense, limiting the event of flooding.

Partnering with local governments and institutions such as the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, the public institution “Vode Srpske” of the entity of Republika Srpska (RS), the Water Management Inspectorate of RS, the Agency for Water Area of Sava River Basin of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), as well as beneficiary local governments, has ensured local ownership of the intervention. 

Call to action

 Maglaj after the floods

Immediately after the floods, efforts to attend to the most affected communities began with the support of the international community and local governmental representatives. Designed closely with ongoing interventions, this project addresses some of the recovery and immediate prevention needs. The project is an important contribution to prevention efforts in BiH. Flood Protection and River Management Action Plan for BiH 2014-2017 outlines all the needs in this area with estimated 592.7 million BAM needed for the implementation. Only 45% of the funds have been secured so far from the ongoing credit lines grant instruments and secured budget resources.

Who Finances it

Project funding
$1,464,497.04  DFID (UK)

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