Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is experiencing some serious water sector-related difficulties, due mostly to poorly developed capacities and infrastructure, but also to an assortment of socioeconomic and institutional shortcomings. A new REC project (Support to the Public Regional Communal Service Company and Four Municipalities in BiH) aims to bring about more efficient water management in the country.
BiH's ample water resources offer significant economic potential, but have suffered from a lack of protection in the past; wartime damage to infrastructure and a lack of maintenance have only exacerbated conditions. There are also few wastewater treatment facilities, and sewerage systems are inadequately looked after.
REC Bosnia and Herzegovina's new project will be focused on four municipalities located in the Upper Vrbas River Basin: Bugojno, Jajce, Donji Vakuf and Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje. The Vrbas provides these communities with water supply, agriculture, tourism and other benefits, but wastewater is discharged directly into the river because the municipalities lack a treatment plant.
Support will go to public regional service companies of the four municipalities for help with the preparation of feasibility studies. The main long-term goal of the project is to reduce the amount of untreated waste entering the river, and thus to improve the citizens' quality of life.
The project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, runs from January 5-December 31, 2007.