The first study on Floods and Landslides Risk for the Housing Sector in BiH produced by the EU Floods Recovery Programme

On 8 December, the EU Floods Recovery Programme presented the Assessment on Floods and Landslides Risk for the Housing Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the first multi-hazard risk assessment done in the country that provides information to all levels of government and enables them to develop future disaster risk reduction policies and decisions. It concludes that harmonisation of legislation and implementation of concrete measures are necessary for future floods and landslides preventions.

Climate changes and extreme weather events, such as May 2014 floods, require comprehensive understanding of the necessary disaster risk reduction measures by all stakeholders in BiH, as well as their swift and full implementation. In addition to providing prompt assistance to flood affected communities in BiH, the EU Floods Recovery Programme recognised the importance of conducting the Assessment for future risk-informed and evidence-based decision making.

“We may not be able to prevent natural hazards from occurring but we can try to significantly reduce their potential effects. Floods prevention and risk management is a key challenge for BiH authorities and the EU will continue to be their active partner and provide support. The comprehensive Housing Risk Assessment is one of the concrete examples of our support and results of the EU Floods Recovery Programme which enables relevant authorities to use this information for their future planning and work on this. Additional significant EU-funds are allocated for BiH to support further flood recovery and flood risk management under IPA 2014, amounting to 41 million EUR,” said the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH, Melvin Asin.

According to the study, priorities for all levels of government in BiH include development of early warning systems, flood emergency preparedness plans, land use regulation, construction of elevations and floodwalls, as well as the harmonisation and the implementation of the legislation on spatial planning and construction, and on geological surveys in the Federation of BiH, Republika Srpska and Brčko District which would further mitigate risk of future landslides.

The study further highlights 28 municipalities in BiH which are at the highest risk of floods and landslides and notes that almost 284 thousand people live in the areas with very high risk of flooding, while 260 thousand people live in areas with very high risk of landslides. The potential floods and landslide in those areas may cause damages in the amount of up to 7.8 billion BAM.

“Implementation of the disaster risk reduction measures must be our joint priority. The May 2014 floods showed how vulnerable we all are. With the implementation of the EU Floods Recovery Programme we are helping to alleviate consequences of those floods but our focus now needs to turn to prevention so we do not face such calamities again,” said the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Representative, Sezin Sinanoglu.

The Assessment firstly combined both flood and landslide risks for the housing sector, and it integrated assessment of the impact of climate change which increases levels of risk. It further linked this information with spatial data for the housing sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina through geographical information system and socio-economic characteristics of municipalities. Input data for exposure for both flood and landslide risk assessments were spatial planning segment data and analysis.

The next step that follows this Assessment is the development of a more detailed analysis of the identified areas. The Assessment will in this sense continue in Doboj and Tuzla as municipalities selected based on the aforementioned multi-hazard and socio economic analyses in order to serve as pilot projects. These municipalities will showcase the methodology for further analysis of all built-up areas exposed to the risks and aid in the design of tailor-made structural and non-structural measures.

Download the Flood and Landslide Risk Assessment for the Housing Sector in BiH:

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