EU and European Investment Bank (EIB) approve € 2.1m grant to upgrade water and sewerage systems in Jajce and Zvornik in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EIB has signed a € 2.1 million EU grant with BiH to finance the construction of sewage and drinking water systems in the municipalities of Jajce and Zvornik. This investment will help improve existing water and sanitation infrastructure and develop new systems that will increase the capacity of water wells and reduce water losses. The goal is to protect public health and the environment from water pollution and provide reliable water supply and sanitation services to approximately 93,000 people.
“The EU grant will go towards construction works for water supply investments on the right bank of the Vrbas River, and will be used to reduce water losses in the existing Resnik water supply system in Jajce. In the town of Zvornik, the investment grant will be allocated for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant for Tabanci and a water supply system in Lokanj-Pilica. These 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 Sewerage” programs in the Federation and in the Republika Srpska of BiH, “EU Delegation to BiH notes in a press release.
EU Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler said that with these grants the EU 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 to the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funding to support the implementation of water programs. and sewers throughout BiH, “Sattler said.
“One of the EIB’s priorities is to improve access to drinking water and sanitation for people in the Western Balkans and to help the region move towards more environmentally sustainable solutions. This investment will increase preparedness for emergencies and natural disasters by providing safer sanitation 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 some municipalities, “said Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice President in charge of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
BiH Minister of Finance and Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda said the European Investment Bank usually finances projects that are the result of common needs. This time, he added, they have secured additional funding to improve water supply in Jajce and Zvornik where the population faces real problems with drinking water and environmental protection. These funds will help to significantly improve their quality of life, and this is the most important result of these projects.
To date, the EIB has invested € 240 million in 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.
The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) provides funding and technical assistance for strategic investments in the energy, environment, society, transport and digital infrastructure sectors. It also supports private sector development initiatives.