Since the floods in May 2014 much has happened in BiH. However, since there was such great damage throughout the country, the main focus was on helping people to again have a safe place to live and get them through the winter. This means that additional services projects such as the Balačići water supply project did not get as much attention from the authorities. It is crucial however that the municipality is actively engaged because they have to approve the any new construction and they have to agree with the project because once it is done Caritas will hand over the responsibility of the reservoir to the municipality. Additionally, because the landslides were so great we first needed to wait for a while to see if the ground is safe for construction.
Much of the preliminary work has been done during this period however. Shortly after the disaster the Caritas engineers went to the location of the three water reservoirs to get an impression of the situation. The damage was assessed and a location for a new reservoir was identified. The information of this preliminary assessment was put into a report and shared with the local community, the municipality, Caritas Headquarters and the donors. This information also made it possible to integrate this water supply component into a larger reconstruction project and to find the funds to implement it. It was during the same time that active contacts with the municipality Žepce started.
Until the end of 2014 it was possible to get the project approved and to agree on further steps with the municipality; who agreed to pay for a study that would determine if it is possible and feasible to build the new reservoir at the proposed location.
We now have this study and it looks good for the project. In December of last year we also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the municipality which finally laid the foundation for a constructive collaboration. In a next step Caritas will commission a geological assessment of the new location, which is the next essential preparatory step.
We are therefore happy to state that the project is now well underway.