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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Floods DREF Operation n° MDRBA013 - Final Report

Bosnia y Herzegovina
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Description of the disaster During the night of 5 November 2021, there were 18 municipalities hit by flash floods caused by intensive rainfall in central, eastern and southern parts of both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Republic of Srpska. Rivers Zeljeznica, Miljacka, Bosna and Neretva, together with smaller rivers which flow into them, flooded the area, causing damages and prompting evacuations. The affected municipalities were: Ilidza, Trnovo, East Ilidza, Trnovo (FBIH), Stari Grad, Konjic, Jablanica, Novi Grad, Kiseljak, Gorazde, Pale (FBIH), Pale, Foca, Sokolac, Gacko, Foca (FBIH) and Novo Sarajevo. Another 5 municipalities were less affected. Landslides were 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. The total number of people who remained in need for humanitarian assistance was 3,663. 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 needed to be accommodated, since accommodation in the affected facility was 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 had 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 were damaged. The only company that produces medical oxygen in the country, 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 had been decreasing. A total number of directly affected HHs was 71.

In Municipality Trnovo (FBIH), 20 housing buildings were damaged, together with many roads. In Vogošća municipality, 20 housing objects were damaged. In Trnovo, 118 housing buildings were damaged. The livelihoods of people were damaged or destroyed, since the agricultural land was flooded, and more than 100 livestock drowned during the flooding of the river Zeljeznica. During the weekend of 6-7 November 2021, flooding brought much material with the water, which decreased 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.

In Konjic, 20 residences of a Hotovlje local community were evacuated to the local mosque, and there were no available roads to approach them. This blockage was caused by heavy landslides, which started as a result of the rainfall. Civil protection teams were 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 had electricity until the road was fixed. Most of the affected population consisted of older and exhausted people. Many housing objects around the municipality were damaged by flooding, and another 5 housing objects were damaged by landslides.

In Jablanica, Gacko and Foca, landslides started as a result of rainfall, affecting a total of 19 households directly. 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 were 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. The HQ’s space was not available for work until renovation works were finalized by midJanuary 2022. The Red Cross of Federation of BiH HQ (one of the entities of the Red Cross of Bosnia and Herzegovina) stayed without electricity, forcing the Disaster Management team to work at an alternative 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.