Today, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, visited the municipalities of Šamac and Domaljevac-Šamac to witness the results of the EU and UNDP assistance for the recovery of these municipalities after the 2014 floods.
The full-day visit began in the town centre where Šamac Town Hall, the Health Centre, and Šamac Elementary School are located. They were all renovated as part of the EU Floods Recovery Programme. Following that, the delegation visited the family of Milica Vočkić in Novo Selo. Their family home was destroyed in the 2014 floods, and a new home was built for them through the programme financed by the European Union in cooperation with partner municipalities and Entity governments.
“This house means everything to me because my life and my children’s lives are better now,” said Milica Vočkić who lives with her two sons, one of whom has multiple sclerosis. “I could have never built myself a house, I just haven’t got the means,” she added.
As part of the Flood Recovery Programme, four housing units have been built in Šamac for families whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged in 2014, and, to ensure adequate housing conditions, the rehabilitation of 17 homes is underway.
“The European Union was prompt to offer assistance for construction and rehabilitation after the 2014 floods, as well as for Flood Risk Management.” said Ambassador Wigemark. “One of the lessons we have learned is that we can and should cooperate, as the results that can be seen are impressive.”
Đorđe Milićević, the mayor of Šamac, emphasised the success of the cooperation between Šamac municipality, Delegation of the European Union, and UNDP. “We are very thankful to the European Union and UNDP for all the projects, and I expect our cooperation will become even more successful in the future.” said Milićević.
After visiting Šamac municipality, the delegation went to Domaljevac-Šamac municipality where they opened up an artesian well that will provide clean water to a large municipality area. After the 2014 floods, a Health Centre, a Centre for healthy aging, and a kindergarten were rehabilitated through the EU projects implemented by UNDP.
“95 percent of the municipality was under water”, recalled Stjepan Piljić, the mayor of Domaljevac-Šamac municipality. “Around 1,300 households were flooded, all public institutions suffered great damage.” In recognition of all the flood recovery assistance provided to the residents of the municipality, the Domaljevac-Šamac municipal council named one square the European Union Square.
“In close cooperation with cantonal and municipal governments, our projects are trying to address the needs of the most vulnerable groups. We wish to thank the European Union for their contribution in improving the standard of living in the Posavina region.” said Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.