“We are working very hard so that this never happens again”, says Slavisa Savic, Assistant Director of Vode Srpske, a public institution that manages water and public water resources in Republic Srpska. “Embankments along the River Sava were constructed before World War II and slightly upgraded in the 1980s, but now we are determined to repair the damage and upgrade our flood prevention system.”
Investing in safety
The European Investment Bank is helping Republic Srpska with a EUR 55 million worth loan for emergency reconstruction of flood protection facilities along the Sava and its tributaries. The goal is to safeguard the agricultural, industrial and housing areas prone to floods and to allow for stable future development. The investment also supports the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative, which aims to improve the preparedness of the Western Balkans region for future shocks to its economy.
The project includes the rehabilitation of 78km of dikes and 163 km of channels, as well as construction of additional flood prevention measures. “Out of 93 planned components of the project, 75 of them have already been completed”, says Savic. This means that 53 municipalities affected by the 2014 floods now have more reliable flood protection facilities.µ
The Western Balkans Investment Framework also contributed a EUR 7.38 million EU grant to support the local authorities in Republic Srpska to prepare and implement immediate flood protection measures and facilities including:
- rehabilitation of river dykes, channels, river banks, small bridges
- replacement and upgrade of pumping stations
- preventive measures including erosion protection, flood risk mapping and management plans, flood protection and early warning systems.
The Investment Framework technical assistance support included feasibility studies, detail designs, assistance with tendering, project management/construction supervision, as well as the preparation of flood hazard and flood risk maps for the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.