Floodings in Bosnia and Herzegovina
On May, 13th 2014 Bosnia and Herzegovina was hit by heavy rainfall, causing major flooding. On May, 17th, the Bosnian government issued a request for international assistance. After a planning committee meeting, B-FAST decided to offer a High Capacity Pumping Unit and a Water Purification Module to the Bosnian authorities, through the Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC) of the European Commission.
On May, 19th, 26 B-FAST volunteers embark upon their operation, travelling by road to the Bosnian city of Orasje with a stopover in Austria. They arrive in Orasje the next day around 9pm where they establish their Base of Operations. After a rather short night, the team starts to assess the local situation. Starting from 2pm, the heavy pumps get fully operational. As a whole, these pumps allow for 56m³ of water to be pumped each minute. By doing so, and together with a German team, a hospital is saved from further flooding.
As a remainder of the wars in the nineties, land mines are still present in the area and some have been displaced because of land slides. Therefore, the team carries out a situational assessment and all members receive a briefing by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BiH MAC) and TIRAMISU (Humanitarian Demining). Also, the Belgian Royal Military School donated the use of a drone to identify mines and to map and document the flooded areas, in the framework of the European ICARUS-project in which B-FAST is involved.
After a thorough analysis of the most suitable location to establish a Water Purification System, a village called Dolmaljevac was selected. On May, 22nd, the WPS module became operational. This very day, B-FAST received the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management.
On May, 25th, the level of the river Save started to descend. As a dam in Orasje was restored, the levels started to become less alarming. Thanks to this positive evolution, B-FAST could end its operations on May, 29th. Part of the operations was taken over by the Baltic Flood Bataljon and the DEMA agency of Denmark.
On May, 30th, the B-FAST team headed back to Belgium. During this operation, a staggering amount of 771 840 000 liters of water was pumped and 138 000 liters of water got purified.