Sarajevo, March 31, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
A short, but for the citizens of several villages very important, ceremony on the opening of the reconstructed bridge over Bukovica river was held on Tuesday in the municipality of Lukavac.
The bridge, reconstructed under EU Floods Recovery Programme, which is being used by around 100 households daily, was heavily damaged in the May 2014 floods. The EU-financed works on the site also included improving the regulation of the Bukovica River flow to protect the reconstructed bridge from future flooding. The total EU investment on the reconstruction of the bridge, which is 12.40m long and 4.5m wide, was in the region of 28,200 euros.
As it was announced from the EU Delegation in BiH, the projected EU investment in the Lukavac municipality under the EU Floods Recovery Programme is approximately 700,000 euros and includes reconstruction of three bridges, provision of equipment and furniture for four flood-affected schools, economic recovery grants to four small and medium-sized enterprises for retention of nearly 120 jobs, assistance to agricultural producers and rehabilitation of around 80 houses for the most vulnerable population.
“The reconstruction of this bridge represents well what the EU Floods Recovery Programme is all about – helping communities in flood-affected areas to return to normal life by restoring vital services to the citizens. Local transport infrastructure is a key part of these services and through our financial support our objective is to reestablish connectivity in communities for local residents to access schools and workplaces – just as we have done here in villages Tumare and Panjik”, Massimo Mina, Head of Operations for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation at the EU Delegation in BiH said at the ceremony.
“On behalf of the citizens of the municipality of Lukavac, I would like to thank the EU representatives in BiH for all the help they provided, particularly for the recovery support after the floods. Across the Lukavac Municipality, we suffered great damages caused by floods and landslides, and I would particularly like to express our gratitude for the reconstruction of the bridge in Tumare, which is being mostly used by returnees and children when going to school in Panjik, Dževad Mujkić, mayor of Lukavac said.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme was launched to restore normal living conditions in local communities and ensure that the assistance reaches the most vulnerable ones in the aftermath of floods in May 2014. Financial aid is used for rehabilitation of the buildings for public services, infrastructure, housing units for the most vulnerable people and for socio-economic recovery of local communities. The value of the overall Programme is EUR 43.52 million, out of which EUR 42.24 million is provided by the European Union.