Floodings in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
High Capacity Pumping module & Water Purification System
High Capacity Pumping and Water Purification

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.