Silvia Longhi

Bosnia Floodings


May 2014.
Severe floods hit Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, leaving more than 70 people dead and hundreds of thousands roofless.
Caritas, like other NGOs, was active since the very beginning of the emergency, monitoring and reporting on the situation and delivering aid to the population.
The reportage follows Caritas operators “caschi bianchi” in their on field activities and documents the conditions of cities and towns along the path of the Bosna River from Sarajevo to Samac two weeks after the floods.

“The situation is somehow worse than after the war: damage caused by bombs was localized, while water destroyed everything ”
– a citizen of Doboj declared.

In cities like Doboj and Maglaj, all the ground floor houses and facilities went under water in only a few minutes.
Mud and water from rain-swollen rivers across the region covered one fourth of the Bosnian territory and caused thousands of landslides that destroyed entire villages. The economic damage caused by the disaster – barely mentioned by the media in Italy and central Europe – was estimated at 1.3 billion euros (over 7.5% of GDP) in BiH only.
Once more, 20 years after the end of the war, the Balkans face destruction, and people have to start working on reconstruction.