Bosnian rivers keep flooding, residents keep picking up the tab

NEWS 23.06.2020 20:47
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Source: N1

Following the Tuesday floods in central Bosnia's Tuzla Canton, the rivers are subsiding and so is Gostelja river which caused a massive landslide that cut the land communication between the city of Tuzla and Sarajevo. The residents, however, are left to cover the damages to their properties clean-up alone.

Ismet Ramic has been living near Gostelja for over four decades. He claims the river started flooding in 2000, and this was hos third flood so far.

“The entire ground floor's destroyed, outside – my greenhouse, fruits and vegetables are also destroyed. The fence near the water's also ripped away,” Ismet Ramic complained to N1.

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Gostelja swelled last night, carrying everything in its path, leaving mud, sludge and garbage behind. The locals are indignant because things like this regularly happen and they never receive any help.

“It swelled and broke out of its riverbed around 1 am. Nobody from the competent institutions came to us to speak to us. We're doing what we can,” a local named Husein Muminovic, told N1.

“A company from Zivinice drove 20 trucks of sand here and I've been personally setting bags of sand with my excavator along the banks, but the water still came into the house and damaged it,” Another local, Alija Memisevic told N1.

It is still early for the local authorities to estimate the total amount of damage caused to the residents, but early estimates indicate that over 200 homes and businesses were flooded.

“We can only start cleaning and removing the sludge, and disinfecting the houses to prevent any diseases,” Alija Cehajic from Zivinice Civil Protection Agency said.

Semir Muhic from the local Red Cross said their volunteers are helping as much as they can in the clean-up, but the locals are desperate. The rivers here are notorious for flooding.

Narrowing of riverbeds, garbage disposal, illegal settlements near the rivers and illegal bridge construction are just some of the reasons why rivers flood here.

The residents hope that the authorities will solve the regulation of riverbeds of the nearby rivers so that they do not have constant floods and especially so that they do not bear the material costs themselves.