EU supports BiH companies in becoming more flood resilient

Has the company defined its Staff Evacuation Plan in case of a flood and who is responsible to initiate it?  Are the procedures in place for the switching off and relocation of equipment, products and raw materials?  How can facilities be protected from water? These and many other questions have been analysed by companies while developing their flood resilience plans as part of a European Union and German Government-funded project.

Some 31 companies in BiH are currently working on developing flood resilience action plans at their companies to define preventive measures and procedures for during and after floods. The action plans will help them to better prepare their flood response and define steps to be undertaken after a flood threat has been identified.

The companies will also prepare communication plans and train their staff in flood safety to increase their readiness and consequently increase chances for protection of human lives, infrastructure, and equipment. This activity is targeting not only the companies affected by floods in 2014, but also those that are located in the flood risk areas and want to act pre-emptively.

„The floods had a particularly negative effect on small and medium-sized enterprises, partly due to the lack of internal risk management mechanisms,“ highlighted Karin Hoerhan, the EU ProLocal Programme Manager and added „So far, grants amounting to 3 million euros have been awarded through EU ProLocal to the companies that used them, among others, to buy new equipment. Therefore, this activity supports also the sustainability of the achieved progress.”

Cromex” from Prijedor was motivated for this activity by their experience in 2014 when they suffered minor damage due to a flood wave. They recovered, modernized their equipment and upgraded their business, the continuity of which they want to sustain in case of any new disasters. „Our Action Plan is an expression of our determination to have a more efficient flood response next time and it is a mixture of the lessons learned from our own unfortunate experience and professional assistance of experts“, says Manager Enes Pehlić.

In addition to the people, facilities and equipment, owner of the “Jelena” Company from Kozarska Dubica, Marko Vlajsević, is particularly focused on the development of an action plan for protection of cereal crops that are the most exposed to the flood risk. „We are convinced of the importance of a well-prepared action plan, since by its consistent implementation we can definitely prevent everything that is in our power. Staff members are thoroughly informed and everyone is aware of their task in case of a flood”, explains Vlajsević.

EU ProLocal produced the “Flood Prevention and Response Guidance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in BiH”, which provides companies with an overview of practical measures to prevent or mitigate flood damage. The companies were also provided with a set of stickers to label equipment with instructions on the key actions to be undertaken in the event of floods. The Guidance is available at http://eu-prolocal.ba/odrzivi-oporavak/.

EU ProLocal is funded by the European Union with 9 million euros and German Government with 4 million euros. The Programme is implemented by the GIZ BiH.