Olovo is just one of many towns which were hit by floods in May 2014. The floods destroyed everything in their path, including roads and bridges which connected residents to the outside world. The EU Floods Recovery Programme responded quickly and in cooperation with the Municipality renovated priority infrastructure in Olovo.
Through the EU Floods Recovery Programme, the bridge on the Krivaja was rebuilt, bed of the Martinski stream was regulated in order to protect the structural integrity of the nearby school and decrease the risk of spill over, and 8 spill ports were refurbished. This made it possible to restore road links and decreased the risk of flooding for more than 6,000 inhabitants of Olovo.
The EU stepped forward where others failed
President of the Local community council in Milankovići near Olovo, Nijaz Kopić, said the bridge destroyed in the floods was very important because it connects 1,600 inhabitants of the local communities Milankovići, Bukov Dol, Žunova, and Smahino Selo with the town of Olovo and enables inhabitants to access health centres, schools, municipal administration, post office and shops. “This bridge is of great significance to citizens of Milankovići and surrounding villages because it connects us to Sarajevo Canton and Zenica-Doboj Canton. There is another way which is longer and through the woods, but it is really not adequate for transport. We had to use it for two months, and we were worried for our children and elderly people that had to go to the doctor, because the path was too long and arduous for them. We are poor people and it is difficult when we lose one chicken, let alone a whole bridge and we knew we would not be able to do anything by ourselves,” says Kopić.
“However, the EU stepped forward where everyone else failed. Work was completed exactly within the time frame indicated in the protocol and now everything is in order. We could not be any happier and we are grateful to the people of the EU for coming to our assistance immediately.”
Refurbished infrastructure enables better quality of life
Osman Hasanspahić, president of the Council in the local community of Solun, which is separated from Milankovići by the Krivaja and connected by a rebuilt bridge, takes the same view. He says that on the day of the flood Solun was one great lake and that both the River Krivaja and the Martin stream broke their banks. The greatest fear of local residents was the fact that the elementary school that 180 students go to was on the edge of the stream and they were worried that it would be destroyed by the flood.
“When the flooding started, people panicked because water entered the houses. It came quickly and remained for two days, leaving behind waste, mud and a lot of dirt. It is important to note that the stream floods without any help from the River Krivaja, but the EU Floods Recovery Programme regulated the stream very efficiently, and a barrier was put up so that children wouldn’t fall into the water. We are very satisfied and happy because the refurbished bridge and the regulated stream will enhance the quality of life,” adds Hasanspahić.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme in cooperation with flood-affected municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina developed a list of 63 priority bridges, 51 roads and 31 water and sanitation facilities that were rehabilitated in order to restore traffic and water supply and sewage and sanitation facilities in flood-affected communities. This rehabilitation work has restored normal transportation conditions and water supply, as well as sanitation, for more than 610,000 people.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme is financed by the European Union and implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and IOM.