Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rapid Needs Assessment, Šamac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 27 May 2014

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Situation Report
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Originally published

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Background: Further to the floods affecting Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, PCPM mission undertook a rapid needs assessment in the vicinity of Doboj, Modriča, Šamac, Orašje, Brčko and Gračanica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Šamac, Republika Srpska

Šamac is a 8-thousand town located at a confluence of River Bosna and River Sava, the latter forming the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The town was entirely flooded, with the level of water reaching 2 meters above ground. Almost an entire population of Šamac was displaced.

Flooding and displacement

Šamac remained under water until the Polish State Fire Service EUCPT High Capacity Pump Module provided assistance in the pumping operation. The water level is now gradually decreasing thanks to the continuous pumping, although it is hampered by a limited capacity of Šamac’s rainwater drainage system. As of 27 May the level of River Sava stood at 540 cm, down from its peak of over 650cm, although still way above the level of 400cm that would enable removal of water from basements and other low-lying areas.

As of 27 May, water was pumped out of majority of streets in downtown Šamac. There is still a large pool of floodwater in the vicinity of the city stadium, which affects the nearby houses. The local population estimates it may take up to three months for the buildings to dry and the cleanup operation to be completed.

Some older buildings have cracked walls indicating a shift in the foundations and potential secondary threat to its inhabitants. An engineering assessment of those buildings is necessary.
With all population displaced out of the city, only a handful of families returned to start the cleanup operation. They are in acute need of drinking water, hygiene and cleaning supplies, insect repellants and other non-food items.

Villages neighboring Šamac from the east: Tišina and Grebnice were flooded up to 1,5-2 meters. Many houses and almost all of the fields still remain under water.