SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 22, 2010 – Implementation of the Sarajevo Waste Water Project has effectively started today with the project launch workshop held at the Waste Water Management Facility Butila near Sarajevo, in presence of representatives of the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of Physical Planning and Environment, Waste Water Company (VIK), media, and World Bank officials.
The project, with financing of USD 37 million (USD 35 million IBRD loan, and USD 2 million financing from the Government), will help to rehabilitate vital waste water infrastructure in the Canton of Sarajevo, while protecting affected communities and the environment. The project will also strengthen the institutional capacity of the Sarajevo Water and Waste Water Company (VIK).
Service delivery problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina are compounded by the still lingering after-effects of the war, which left portions of basic infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged. A case that vividly illustrates the problem is the waste water collection and treatment system in the City of Sarajevo. The Waste Water Treatment Plant was built in the early 1980s on the occasion of the 1984 Winter Olympics. Construction of the plant was than supported by the World Bank-financed Sarajevo Water Supply and Sewerage Project. However, the plant was extensively damaged in spring 1992, during which the sewer network was also destroyed in various places.
“We are pleased to be supporting the Sarajevo Waste Water Project, which will make an important contribution to improving the lives and living conditions of the city residents served by VIK Sarajevo, as well as those in downstream riverside communities,” said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The Project will reduce the exposure of affected communities to and reliance on highly polluted water from the Miljacka and Bosna Rivers and will also improve the efficiency of the waste water collection network in the Sarajevo Canton.”