Visits of local communities, collecting first signatures for the “Dams-Free Municipalities” Initiative, monitoring visits, meetings and workshops – these are just few items from the busy program of Arnika, Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of BiH, Center for Environment (BiH) and other members of the project team for this year’s mission, which took place from August 23rd to September 4th. During the 13 days, experts were focusing mainly on the small hydropower plants problematics and related topics.
The project team visited many existing as well as planned small hydropower plants (SHPP) locations, such as Kasindolska rijeka, Rakitnica river and the Bereg waterfall, Jablanica. Also the locations of 3 illegally constructed SHPPs on the rivers Bjelava, Mala Bjelava and Velka Bjelava were visited and there were several monitoring visits in the municipality of Konjic. One of the visits led to the local community of Buturović polje where the locals fight against 15 planned SHPPs on the Neretvica river. With the local communities from Kasindo, Kruščica, Sokolač, Višegrad, Foča, Buturović Polje and others, the team always discussed further steps to stop the construction of the planned small hydropower plants.
During the mission, there was also a visit to the Kruščica village on the occasion of the anniversary of the start of the Kruščica campaign. The locals organized a performance and an initiative for removing the HPPs Kruščica 1 and 2 from the spatial plan of the village was launched.
To introduce the “Dams-Free Municipalities” Initiative, there were several meetings with mayors. The mayor of Rogatica promised to bring the declaration to the next meeting of the local government and the mayor of Sokolač was the first one to join and sign the initiative. The mayor of East Sarajevo also joined the initiative and it was also presented to the representatives of the Maglaj municipality.
PHOTOS: Jakub Hrab / Arnika