Start of the Technical Assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina: Flood Risk Management Project in Republika Srpska
The WBIF Technical Assistance (TA) for ‘Continuation of Procurement Assistance for the Flood Risk Management Project in Republika Srpska’ was launched on 31 March 2020 despite the COVID-19 crisis, with a Kick-off Meeting via videoconference.
Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republic of Srpska, the Public Utility Company ‘Vode Srpske’, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the WBIF Country Manager and IPF8 experts all attended to this virtual kick-off meeting.
Technical assistance will be provided to the beneficiary for the preparation of tender documents (works, services and supplies), in the implementation of the tender and assistance in project management. This TA comprehensive package will ensure effective and rapid preparation of the flood protection investment projects, thus promoting future investments, and significantly contributing to capacity building efforts of the staff, charged with implementation.
Since 2011, the WBIF provided nearly €10 million in grants to the overall project ‘Flood Risk Management Project in Republika Srpska’ with a total value of €104 million. Complementing the EU grants, the EIB provided €74 million in loans and the Beneficiary contributed with €4 million. Additional €16 million were provided through the IBRD/IDA, GEF/UNDP and IPA 2014 funds. The entire project is planned to be completed in the next 3 years. So far, in Republika Srpska, 30 construction contracts have been completed or are ongoing adding up to €43.7 million in investment value.
The objective of this project is the development and the upgrading of the flood protection measures along the Sava River and its tributaries in Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Implementation of these flood protection investments will improve the performance and reliability of the flood protection system in Republika Srpska and will reduce the overall risk of floods and associated damages. This project will have a positive impact on the economy, society, environment, and on public health, while directly improving the quality of life in 30 municipalities with almost 700,000 inhabitants in Republika Srpska. It will further contribute to the transposition and implementation of the EU Acquis, in particular the Flood Directive, which requires a coherent cross-border approach.
All stakeholders concerned welcomed the commencement of the project at such challenging times.
Mr Matteo Rivellini, Head of Division for EIB Lending Operations in Croatia, Slovenia and Western Balkan: 'Increased flood protection on the Sava River will save lives as well as millions of euros lost to flood-related damages. In addition, flooding prevention has an important role in preserving the basic hygienic conditions, which is essential for more efficient response to virus outbreaks. This is especially significant in case of pandemics such as Covid-19 where these kind of measures are crucial for preventing further spreading of infection and for mitigating its effects. Improved resilience to natural disasters is among the key prerequisites for a thriving economy and job creation.'
Mr Miroslav Milovanovic, Director at Vode Srpske: ‘We are extremely pleased that our cooperation for this important project, Emergency and Flood Protection in Republika Srpska, is extended. The project provides not only the life security for the citizens of Republika Srpska, but also contributes to the development of water management and the economy as a whole.’
Mr Milan Gavric, Assistant Minister at Water management department: ‘As the Beneficiary, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management appreciates the efforts of all stakeholders to make this project successful. Assistance of the WBIF TA is more than welcome to increase the effectiveness of the project implementation.’
More about the project here.
More about the WBIF activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina here.