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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Floods DREF Operation n°MDRBA012

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster

On 22 June, heavy rainfalls have caused rivers and creeks in North-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to swell and flood houses and roads along their banks, forcing many to fear for their lives and properties. The most critical situation is in Tuzla Canton where traffic has been stopped on the main road connecting the city of Tuzla with Sarajevo to the south and Orašje to the north while the city’s connection to the north-western town of Doboj is also jeopardized. On the afternoon of 22 June, the Mayor of Tuzla - at the proposal of the City Civil Protection Headquarters - made a decision to declare a state of natural disaster in the city of Tuzla due to the danger of floods and landslides, covering eight out of nine municipalities in Tuzla Canton (see map of affected areas at the end of the document).

Đurđevik in the municipality of Živinice is underwater, 200 residential buildings and 100 auxiliary buildings were flooded. Local traffic, and traffic towards Sarajevo on the main road (M-18) was interrupted. Some families have been evacuated to their relatives and close friends who are living away from flooded areas, while several refused to evacuate. Besides damages on the houses, damage is also reported on agricultural crops. The situation is complicated by the incessant rain. The situation is also difficult in the municipality of Sapna, where problems are caused by the rivers Sapna and Nezučki potok, as well as in the area of the City of Gračanica, where, in fact, all watercourses in the Tuzla Canton flow into the Spreča riverbed.

In the town of Kladanj, 266 households (HHs) have been flooded with 1,000 persons affected, of whom 535 have been evacuated. Most of them moved to houses of families and friends and some have slept in local Mosques. In city of Lukavac, 100 HHs have been flooded where 7,000 people are affected by river Spreča. Most affected and vulnerable are 300 persons from Roma communities.

The rivers Gnjica and Šibošnica threaten the inhabitants of the Municipality of Čelić, and the most difficult situation is in the settlements of Brnjik, Drijenča, Nahvioci, Šibošnica and Čelić.

Landslides are an additional problem in Tuzla Canton, most of them occurred in the area of Sapna, Banovići and Srebrenik, where residential buildings are also endangered. According to the data of the Civil Protection of Tuzla Canton, 16 landslides have been reported in the region so far, which, in addition to the hindering the flow of vehicles and damage to the road infrastructure, also endanger residential buildings. In the area of Srebrenik, eight new landslides have been reported so far, which endanger residential buildings and houses.

In the Republic of Srpska (RS) area of Zvornik, the rivers Sapna and Hoča overflowed from the riverbed, and drainage canals flooded more than 30 houses affecting 125 persons in the settlements of Karakaj, Čelopek, Ulice, Donji Grbavci, and Cer. In Srebrenica, the rain is falling with a strong intensity, and due to a large amount of water and sediment, one of the culverts on the Guber promenade was blocked. 20 households have been flooded, affecting 70 persons. In municipality of Teslić, 40 HHs have been flooded with 90 persons affected. Municipalities Valencia in eastern part of RS and Petrovo in Doboj region have 10 HHs flooded affecting 70 persons. 30 HHS have been flooded in city of Zvornik affecting 125 persons.

Floods have significantly affected road infrastructure, educational institutions (schools) and water supply lines in some municipalities in Tuzla canton. In Kladanj, the elementary school that has been used to house migrants en route has also been affected. Some local health facilities have been closed due to flooding but are expected to be open soon after the situation is back to normal. The Government is preparing to start full damage assessment and at this point there is no exact data on damages caused by these floods and landslides.

Agriculture also sustained major damages, as many crops and orchards have been completely destroyed by floods. This directly affects the livelihood of people living in the affected region since the flooding mainly affected rural areas where people are relying on agriculture. In addition to this, before the flooding in June, the region of Gradačac suffered a massive hailstorm that severely damaged orchards and crops causing nearly 100% damage.

The COVID-19 situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also deteriorating, the number of cases on a daily basis is higher than in the initial months of the pandemic. In last several days there is significant increase of confirmed cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina (as shown in statistics on page 7) among which Tuzla (255) and Sarajevo (382) Cantons have leading numbers, being second and third highest numbers after the most affected city of Banja Luka with 741 confirmed cases. This should be taken into consideration when deciding modality of providing support to affected population so that exposure of RC staff is minimized, and all adequate protection is provided as well as protection of Persons of Concern. In summary, the overall number of flooded households is 749. Over 10,000 persons have been affected and over 900 persons have been evacuated according to initial data received from the local branches. Some private water wells have also been affected by floods and will require disinfection and cleaning. Full picture of damages on infrastructure and agriculture will be available upon the Government’s completion of damage assessments.