Four years after the devastating floods and landslides that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina, hundreds of families are looking forward to their new homes that will be built as part of the European Union and UNDP project.
“I was at home when the landslide began moving“ Đorđa clearly remembers May 2014 when, after record-breaking rainfalls that affected the whole region, his life changed irreversibly. Literally, overnight his humble home surrounded by lush greenery near city of Modriča became a source of everyday fear. Without regular income and, thus, possibility to move away and build a new house, Đorđa and his wife Dušanka have been living in peril for the past four years. „I cannot sleep,“ he says. „Every time it rains, I wonder if the house will start moving“.
More than one hundred kilometers away, Imamovic family from Kalesija is experiencing the same problem. This comes as no surprise as 2014 floods and landslides affected one-quarter of the Bosnia and Herzegovina territory and around one million people. The damages were astronomical, resulting in many families and communities not recovering even after four years have passed.
“Imagine how it would feel if you were in this situation,“ Hasida Imamovic asks simply pointing at the deep cracks on the walls of home she shares with her husband, two children and husband’s parents. As Đorđa, Imamovic family looks at the cloudy sky with discomfort. “How can we not be afraid? Especially when it rains, day after day“ says Hasida. “We spent many of our nights awake since the landslide appeared”.
To alleviate the effects of the devastating 2014 floods and landslides, Flood Recovery – Housing Interventions Programme published Public Call for beneficiary selection at the end of 2017. The aim of the Programme is to provide safe housing solutions for around 3,000 people, as well as to economically strengthen 555 vulnerable families. A programme, valued at 15 million euro, is financed by the European Union in partnership with Government of Federation of BiH, Government of Republika Srpska, UNDP and local authorities. The first phase of the Programme, implemented from 2014 to 2016, achieved great success in improving the quality of lives of 610,000 people.
Almost four thousand households from 44 municipalities and cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina applied to the Public Call showing that the support for flood recovery is still needed. Amongst those who applied to Public Call were Đorđa and Dušanka, as well as Imamović family.
Upon the completion of the beneficiary selection, both families received the good news: they fulfilled the conditions of the Public Call and new houses will be built for them on safe locations. “I could not believe that I will get a home“ Đorđa describes his feelings. „I feel safer now. I am happy“. Next to him, Dušanka is smiling. “I am happier“ she adds as soon as he finishes his sentence.
Imamović family is also happy because of the good news. Once they start living in their new home, they will be able to look at the cloudy skies without the fear for their own safety.
Flood Recovery – Housing interventions Programme is implemented by UNDP in BiH, together with International Organisation for Migrations (IOM), Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), Hilfswerk International Austria (HWA) and partner municipalities and cities. Through this Programme, 44 flood affected municipalities and cities will be supported in their recovery.