Doors on Jovan’s home in Šamac are wide open. Inside the house, works are in full swing: Jovan’s house, damaged during record-breaking floods that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014, is being renovated.
Through Flood Recovery – Housing Interventions Programme, financed by the European Union and implemented by the UNDP, Jovan’s home is undergoing renovation of bathroom, roof, floors and electro installation. New doors and windows have also been installed.
„This means a lot to me“ says 50-year old Jovan whose main source of income is agriculture. „I would not be able to do this all by myself. Life will be easier“. Fiona, his neighbor’s small dog runs around. „Fiona comes every day, she monitors the works“ Jovan laughs.
Jovan is one of almost 3,000 people in 44 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will be provided with safe housing through Programme by construction of new houses or rehabilitation of damaged ones. Programme, valued at 15 million euro is financed by the European Union in the amount of 12.5 million euro, in cooperation with entity governments, UNDP in BiH and local authorities. Programme is implemented by UNDP in BiH together with International Organisation for Migrations (IOM), Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), Hilfswerk International (HWI) and partner municipalities and cities.
One of the municipalities participating in the Programme is Gračanica. In Gračanica, 57-year old Rifat regularly visits construction site where his new house is being built. As the construction works are nearing to an end, Rifat cannot hide his delight with the results.
„When I entered the house, I almost fainted from joy“ he says, posing for photos in front of his new house. „It was as if I entered a hotel“. In the 50m2 house, there are two bedrooms, kitchen with living room and bathroom. That is enough space for Rifat’s three-member family that, up until now, lived in the landslide affected house. Showing cracks on the walls of the house in which he currently lives, Rifat explains how he had to cut doors in order to fit them into the doorframe. „Everything is deformed in the house because of the landslide“ says Rifat. Every day spent living in the old house is danger for Rifat’s family.
But thanks to the Flood Recovery Programme, for thousands of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, like Jovan and Rifat, living in inadequate conditions is coming to an end. Besides warm weather, this spring will also bring them safe roof over their heads.