The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €2.1 million EU grant with BiH for financing the construction of the wastewater and drinking water systems in the municipalities of Jajce and Zvornik. This investment will help to improve existing and develop new water and sanitation infrastructure that will increase the capacity of water wells and reduce water losses. The aim is to protect public health and the environment from water pollution and ensure reliable water supply and sanitation services for some 93 000 people.
The EU grant will go towards construction works for water supply investments on the right bank of the river Vrbas and will be used to reduce water losses in the existing Resnik water supply system in Jajce. In the city of Zvornik, the investment grant will be allocated to the construction of a wastewater treatment plant for Tabanci and a water supply system in Lokanj-Pilica. Those investments are part of an EU-funded project approved under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) in 2019 to support the implementation of the “Water and Sanitation” programmes in the Federation and in Republika Srpska of BiH.
EU Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler said: “With these EU grants we will contribute to improving the quality and efficiency of water supply and wastewater treatment in the municipalities of Jajce and Zvornik. We remain committed to reducing water pollution and improving drinking water, and in December 2020 the European Union allocated an additional €6 million of Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds to support the implementation of water and sanitation programmes throughout BiH.”
This investment will help to improve existing and develop new water and sanitation infrastructure that will increase the capacity of water wells and reduce water losses
EIB Vice-President responsible for Bosnia and Herzegovina Lilyana Pavlova said: “One of the EIB’s priorities is to improve access to drinking water and sanitation services for people in the Western Balkans and help the region move towards more sustainable environmental solutions. This investment will increase preparedness for emergencies and natural disasters by providing safer sanitation conditions and reducing water pollution in Jajce, Zvornik and surrounding municipalities. The grant agreements we are signing today will complement the financing of two already signed EIB loans in the water and sanitation sector, which already benefit several municipalities”.
BiH’s Minister of Finance and Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda said: “The European Investment Bank generally implements projects which are the result of the needs of ordinary. This time, they have secured additional funds for improving the water supply in Jajce and Zvornik where the population faces real problems with potable water and environmental protection. These funds will help to significantly improve the quality of their lives, and this is the most important result of these projects”.
To date, the EIB has invested €240 million for water and sanitation infrastructure and flood protection systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus contributing to environmental protection and better living conditions for people across the country.