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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRBA013

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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A. Situation analysis

During the night of 5 November 2021, central, eastern and southern parts of the country were hit by flash floods caused by intensive rainfall. Rivers Zeljeznica, Miljacka, Bosna and Neretva, together with smaller rivers which flow into them, flooded the area, causing damages and prompting evacuations. There are currently 18 affected municipalities in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Republic of Srpska. Affected municipalities are: Ilidza, Trnovo, East Ilidza, Trnovo (FBIH), Stari Grad, Konjic, Jablanica, Novi Grad, Kiseljak, Goražde, Pale (FBIH), Pale, Foča, Sokolac, Gacko, Foča (FBIH) and Novo Sarajevo. Another 5 municipalities were less affected. Landslides are recorded in different areas around the country. Wider area of Sarajevo remained without drinking water for up to three days, making the total number of affected people around 250,000.

In Ilidza, evacuation was needed at a care home for older people, where over 58 people were evacuated to a fire station as a temporary solution. Livestock was evacuated as well, where possible. After the first night, they all decided to stay with family and friends, even though accommodation was offered by the Red Cross and authorities. Lower floors of an additional care home for older people were flooded, prompting evacuation of the residents to the upper floors. 55 residents of the care eventually need to be accommodated, since accommodation in the affected facility is no longer possible. Since then, residents were re-allocated to other care homes or family members. Residents were in need of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). 106 housing buildings were flooded or damaged. The immediate actions to mitigate risks, made in coordination with different actors have given successful results and no further damages were made. A total of 192 HHs were directly affected.

In Novi Grad, 80 people were evacuated from housing and industrial objects. 22 housing buildings are damaged. The only company that produces medical oxygen in the country is located in this municipality and their facility was in danger with the rising waters, prompting evacuation of parts of equipment and staff to a different location. After the initial flooding on the second day, water levels have been decreasing. A total number of directly affected HHs is 71

In Municipality Trnovo (FBIH), 20 housing buildings are damaged, together with many roads. In Vogošća municipality, 20 housing objects were damaged. In Trnovo, 118 housing buildings were damaged. The livelihoods of people are damaged or destroyed, since the agricultural land is flooded, and more than 100 livestock drowned during the flooding of the river Zeljeznica. During the weekend of 6-7 November, flooding brought much material with the water, which decreases the capacity of the riverbed to take additional quantities of water, increasing the risk of further damages. Eventually, the situation resolved with minimum additional damages. In the immediate aftermath of the rainfall, landslides started which initiated further damage to housing objects. Livelihoods are also damaged.

In Konjic, 20 residences of a Hotovlje local community were evacuated to the local mosque, and there are no available roads to approach them. This blockage is caused by heavy landslides, which started as a result of the rainfall. Civil protection teams are working on the field to find a solution trying to fix the connecting roads, while going on foot to provide assistance to the population. A power generator was delivered to the village, so the residents have electricity until the road is fixed. Most of the population consists of older people. Many housing objects around the municipality are damaged. Another 5 housing objects are damaged by the landslides.

In Jablanica, Gacko and Foča, landslides started as a result of rainfall, also damaging the livelihoods. In these municipalities, a total of 19 HHs were directly affected. Damages to livelihoods were recorded in Pale municipality, due to landslides and flash floods. A total of 180 HHs were directly affected. In Sokolac, the storm weather created damages to 6 HHs. In the municipality of Stari Grad in Sarajevo, there was no drinking water for two days straight, while electricity blackouts were recorded in several municipalities.

In other municipalities, damages on the infrastructure were recorded. In most areas, population and authorities are calling for support in the form of equipment for cleaning the housing objects.

The HQ of the Red Cross Society of BiH suffered damage from the intensive rainfall. The damage was amplified since the incident happened while renovation works were ongoing. The HQ’s space is still not available for work on a permanent basis. Red Cross of Federation of BiH HQ stayed without electricity, forcing the Disaster Management team to work at a displaced location.

On 5 November, the state of emergency had been declared in Republic of Srpska and in municipalities of Ilidza, Novi Grad, Konjic, Zivinice, Vogosca, Trnovo (FBIH) in Federation of BiH.