Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo's Water Quality to be Improved with Support from the World Bank

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Press Release No:2010/213/ECA

In Sarajevo: Jasmina Hadži? (+ 387-33) 251-502, jhadzic@worldbank.org

In Washington: Michael Jones, (202) 473 - 2588, Mjones2@worldbank.org

SARAJEVO, December 22, 2009 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved US$35 million in financing for the Sarajevo Waste Water Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina today. The Project will help to rehabilitate waste water infrastructure in the Canton of Sarajevo and repair and replace primary and secondary waste water transmission pipes and other network rehabilitation. The project will also support capacity building and institutional strengthening of the Sarajevo Water and Waste Water Company (VIK).

"The Sarajevo Waste Water Project will improve the living conditions of the population in the areas covered by VIK Sarajevo and in downstream riverside communities," said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina. "It will reduce the population's exposure to and reliance on highly polluted water from the Miljacka and Bosna Rivers and will also improve the efficiency of the waste water collection network in the Sarajevo Canton."

Service delivery problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina are compounded by the still lingering after-effects of the Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict, which left vast portions of basic infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged. A case that vividly illustrates the problem is the waste water collection and treatment in the City of Sarajevo. The Waste Water Treatment Plant was built in the early 1980's on the occasion of the 1984 Winter Olympics. Construction of the plant was supported by the World Bank financed Sarajevo Water Supply and Sewerage Project. However, the plant was extensively damaged in spring 1992 at the outset of the conflict, during which the sewer network was also destroyed in various places.

The World Bank portfolio of active projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina now includes 15 operations worth about US$ 317.4 million.

More information about the World Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina available at: www.worldbank.ba