Millions in Damages to Burned Buildings: Who Will Pay for Reconstruction?

Millions in Damages to Burned Buildings: Who Will Pay for Reconstruction?


By Medina Malagic – Sarajevo

Citizens of B&H are peacefully protesting every day, where they express their dissatisfaction with the general situation in the country, and state their demands and requirements for the governing structures. Along with the protests, there is damage to buildings that were set on fire throughout the country during the protests on 7 February. Damages to all of the burned buildings amounts to millions, and a lot of time and money will be required for their reconstruction. Also, it is not yet known who will pay for the damages. Some buildings were insured, and the renovation of buildings that were not insured should be restored with money from the budget.

For the restoration of buildings that were insured, there is not expected to be a huge problems, and the buildings of the B&H Presidency, Municipality Center Sarajevo, Municipality Tuzla and the Tuzla Canton Government were insured from fire. The reconstruction of some buildings has already begun. However, the fact is that the act of burning these buildings is characterized as terrorism, which could change the obligations of insurance companies. On the other hand, the insurance companies point out that it is still too early to speak about this. They note that at this moment they cannot say whether there is a basis for the payment of damages due to the absence of formal legal qualifications for the damage.

It is estimated that the damage to the building of the government of Canton Sarajevo and Municipality Center is around four million BAM, and that is only the starting figure. According to initial estimates, in Municipality Center, just the damage done to technical equipment amounts to more than one million BAM. The Municipality Center has funds in reserve, of which it will finance the reconstruction of the building. These funds will be reimbursed when damages are billed from the insurance.

The Commission to assess the damage caused to Tuzla Municipality presented the information that there is damage of around one million BAM to the Tuzla Municipality building, which was burned and demolished. Work on the renovation has begun, and the preliminary estimates indicate that only around 254.428,75 BAM is needed for the construction work. The funds for this purpose are planned through a special Law of Civil Protection, and it is provided with a special law. A part of these funds are in the budget of Municipality Tuzla, and a part of the funds will be requested from several levels of government.

On the other hand, the government building of the Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDK) is under private ownership of RMK traffic. According to the initial estimates, the actual damage is around one million BAM, but the building was not insured, so funds from the budget will have to be provided. A similar situation exists in Mostar, where none of the burned buildings of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNŽ), City Administration and City Hall were insured. The Civil Engineering Universities in Mostar are engaged in the assessment of damages. When the damage is assessed, the restoration of the building will probably be paid for from the budget of the city of Mostar. City of Mostar has announced a lawsuit on the establishment of responsibilities and to determine who will bear the cost of the damages.