EU supports BiH municipalities to improve the system of early warning from disasters

On Tuesday 13 March, the one-year project “SAFE”, funded by the European Union, ended with the ceremonial handover of valuable equipment to the protection and rescue services. The project “SAFE” was territorially focused on the municipalities of Sanski Most and Ostra Luka in order to support the recovery of these municipalities from the catastrophic floods of 2014. In addition to the employees of the protection and rescue services, the handover was attended by the highest officials of municipal institutions.

On that occasion, municipal civil protection services became richer in terms of communication systems (antennas, repeaters, fixed, mobile and hand-held radio stations), water and underwater protection equipment (boat, diving suits and other equipment necessary for diving), instruments for quick control of water quality (ph meters), firefighting (equipment for operating in open and indoor fires) and other useful equipment (shovels, axes, chainsaws, mowers, aggregate and water pump). Also, a highly-equipped drone with a thermal camera was donated to the Civil and Fire Protection Service of Sanski Most municipality in order to help that institution in responding to numerous natural disasters, such as floods, fires, and earthquakes.

Through the project “SAFE”, a hydrological station was donated to the Sava River Watershed Agency with the aim of continuous monitoring of the river Bliha water level, which is one of the tributaries of the Sana River. Also, library funds for a total of ten educational and cultural institutions in these municipalities have been renewed, by donating more than 3.000 books.

The project “SAFE” also had a significant educational component with the aim to raise awareness and knowledge of citizens and subjects of the wider protection and rescue system in response to natural and other disasters. In a total of 27 local communities, 200 pieces of “Risk assessment of the threats from natural and other hazards in the municipalities of Sanski Most and Ostra Luka” were delivered, as well as 2.000 Guides on the proper behavior during them. The Assessment considers the degree of vulnerability of municipalities to earthquakes, landslides, floods, fires, mines and unexploded ordnances and available municipal capacities to respond to these threats.

On the other hand, the guide presents the rules of behavior before, during, and after these threats. Also, pupils of schools, which library funds were renewed, got brief guides on proper behavior before, during and after the floods. The educational aspect of the project “SAFE” was completed with a seminar where representatives of various municipal institutions were informed about the importance of crisis management and early warning systems and the experiences of the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia in response to floods and fires.