Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Floods, Final Report, DREF Operation n°MDRBA012, 12 February 2021

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Description of the disaster

On 22 June, heavy rainfalls caused rivers and creeks in the north-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to swell and flood houses and roads along their banks, forcing many to fear for their lives and properties. The most critical situation was in Tuzla Canton, where traffic was stopped on the main road connecting city of Tuzla with Sarajevo to the south and Orašje to the north while the city’s connection to the north-western town of Doboj was also jeopardized. The mayor of Tuzla at the proposal of the City Civil Protection Headquarters made a decision to declare a state of natural disaster due to the danger of floods and landslides in the city of Tuzla, which includes eight out of nine municipalities in Tuzla Canton (see map in annex).

Đurđevik, in the municipality of Živinice was underwater, 200 residential buildings and 100 auxiliary buildings were flooded. Local traffic, and traffic towards Sarajevo on the main road (M-18) was interrupted due to flooding. Some families were evacuated to their relatives and close friends that are living away from flooded areas, while several refused to evacuate. Besides damages on the houses, damage was also reported on agricultural crops. The situation was complicated by the incessant rain. The situation was also difficult in the municipality of Sapna, where issues were caused by the rivers Sapna and Nezučki potok, as well as in the area of the City of Gračanica, where all watercourses in Tuzla Canton flow into the Spreča riverbed.

In the town of Kladanj, 266 households (HHs) were flooded with 1,000 persons affected, of whom 535 were evacuated. Most of them moved to houses of families and friends, and some slept in local Mosques.

In the city of Lukavac, 100 HHs were flooded where 7,000 people were affected by river Spreča. Most affected and vulnerable were 300 persons from Roma communities.

The rivers Gnjica and Šibošnica threatened the inhabitants of the Municipality of Čelić, and the most difficult situation was in the settlements of Brnjik, Drijenča, Nahvioci, Šibošnica and Čelić (for detailed breakdown please see the Emergency Plan of Action).

Landslides were a further problem in the Tuzla Canton. Most of them were in the area of Sapna, Banovići and Srebrenik, where residential buildings were also endangered. According to the data of the Civil Protection of Tuzla Canton, 16 landslides were reported in the region, which, in addition to the hindering the flow of vehicles and damage to the road infrastructure, also endangered residential buildings. In the area of Srebrenik, eight landslides were reported, which endangered residential buildings and houses.
In the Republic of Srpska (RS) area of Zvornik, the rivers Sapna and Hoča overflowed from the riverbed, and drainage canals flooded more than 30 houses affecting 125 persons in the settlements of Karakaj, Čelopek, Ulice, Donji Grbavci, and Cer. In Srebrenica, the rain was falling with a strong intensity, and due to a large amount of water and sediment, one of the culverts on the Guber promenade was blocked. 20 Households were flooded affecting 70 persons. In municipality of Teslić 40 HHs were flooded with 90 persons affected. Municipalities Valencia in eastern part of RS and Petrovo in Doboj region had 10 HHs flooded affecting 70 persons. 30 HHS were flooded in city of Zvornik affecting 125 persons.

Floods significantly affected road infrastructure, educational institutions (schools) and water supply lines in some municipalities in Tuzla canton. In Kladanj, the elementary school that has been used to house migrants en route was also affected. Some local health facilities have been closed due to flooding but were reopened after one week.

Agriculture also sustained major damages, as many crops and orchards were destroyed by floods. This directly affected the livelihood of people living in the region since the flooding mainly affected rural areas where people are relying on agriculture. In addition to this, on 7 June the region of Gradačac had a massive hailstorm that severely damaged orchards and crops causing nearly 100% damage.

As of the 1 February the COVID-19 situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is stable, the number of daily cases is dropping comparing to previous two months of the pandemic. Government still keeps measures such as wearing of the mask in public places and movement limitations between 11 PM and 5 AM. The number of active cases is 21,987.

In summary, the overall number of flooded households was 749. Over 10,000 persons were affected and over 900 persons were evacuated.