The EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a €2.1 million grant for the amelioration of water and sanitation systems in Jajce and Zvornik in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EIB has signed a €2.1 million EU grant with BiH to finance the construction of the wastewater and drinking water systems in the municipalities of Jajce and Zvornik. This investment will help improve the existing water and sanitation infrastructure and develop new systems that will increase the capacity of water wells and reduce water losses. The aim is to protect public health and the environment from water pollution and ensure reliable water supply and sanitation services for roughly 93,000 people.
“The EU grant will go towards construction works for water supply investments on the right bank of the river Vrbas, and will be used to reduce water losses in the existing Resnik water supply system in Jajce. In the city of Zvornik, the investment grant will be allocated to the construction of a wastewater treatment plant for Tabanci and a water supply system in Lokanj-Pilica. Those investments are part of an EU-funded project approved under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) in 2019 to support the implementation of the “Water and Sanitation” programmes in the Federation and in Republika Srpska of BiH,” the EU Delegation to BiH notes in a press release.
EU Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler said that with these grants the EU will contribute to improving the quality and efficiency of water supply and wastewater treatment in the municipalities of Jajce and Zvornik. “We remain committed to reducing water pollution and improving drinking water, and in December 2020 the European Union allocated an additional €6 million of Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds to support the implementation of water and sanitation programmes throughout BiH,” Sattler said.
“One of the EIB’s priorities is to improve access to drinking water and sanitation services for people in the Western Balkans and help the region move towards more sustainable environmental solutions. This investment will increase preparedness for emergencies and natural disasters by providing safer sanitation conditions and reducing water pollution in Jajce, Zvornik and surrounding municipalities. The grant agreements we are signing today will complement the financing of two already signed EIB loans in the water and sanitation sector, which already benefit several municipalities,” said Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President responsible for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
BiH’s Minister of Finance and Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda said the European Investment Bank generally funds projects which are the result of ordinary needs. This time, he added, they have secured additional funds for improving water supply in Jajce and Zvornik where the population faces real problems with potable water and environmental protection. These funds will help to significantly improve the quality of their lives, and this is the most important result of these projects.
To date, the EIB has invested €240 million for water and sanitation infrastructure and flood protection systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus contributing to environmental protection and better living conditions for people across the country.
The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) provides financing and technical assistance to strategic investments in the energy, environment, social, transport, and digital infrastructure sectors. It also supports private sector development initiatives. /ibna