Czech Republic helps Local Authorities in BiH to effectively Cope with different Disasters

Weather extremes are becoming more frequent, more severe, affecting more people across the country, and across the globe. But with proper preparedness authorities can minimize the impact of disasters caused by climate change.

Through the UNDP project “Increasing Resilience of Livno, Mrkonjic Grad and Maglaj (IRLMM)”, which is funded by Czech Republic, a set of manuals have been developed to support bh. authorities on all levels to deal more effectively with different disasters. These six manuals covering frequently occurring types of disasters – floods, fires, earthquakes, landslides, snowfall and industrial accidents – were officially presented today in Sarajevo.

“The development of Manuals for protection against frequent types of disasters was an important step towards a more coherent response of emergency responders. I sincerely hope that these manuals will be used in all municipalities across the country” underlinedJakub Skalník, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in BiH.  He added that through this project Czech expertise and knowhow in disaster risk reduction was transferred to domestic institutions.

The Manuals are a compendium of different legislation and standards related to disasters, from laws on civil protection and waters to laws on environmental protection. They are intended to provide guidance on responsibilities of each institution and step-by-step procedures for response to for six most occurring types of disasters. With proper preparedness municipalities can minimize the impact of disasters.

“Through this project we contributed to better resilience and protection of lives and livelihoods of 73,000 citizens of Livno, Mrkonjić Grad and Maglaj. Partner municipalities were also provided with practical tools such as DRAS – on line disaster risk assessment platform, updated Protection and Rescue Plans, and trainings. All these tools and newly gained skills were tested through simulation exercise. UNDP will continue to put a strong focus on disaster risk management, to ensure that we can sustain and advance development priorities and achieve the 2030 Agenda” said Steliana Nedera, UNDP BiH Resident Representative.

Representatives of Ministry of Security of BiH, Directorate for Civil Protection of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Water Agencies, Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of FBiH, Ministry of Environment and Tourism of FBiH, Institute of Geology of the FBiH, Cantonal Civil Protection Administration of Canton Sarajevo along with Czech expert for disaster response contributed to the development of Manuals.

Idriz Brkovic, Head of the Department for Strategic Planning, Protection and Rescue Measures at the BiH Ministry of Security, emphasized “These Manuals will be useful both for the training of the protection and rescue services of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the employees of the civil protection services, and above all for citizens in order to get familiarized with what to do before the disaster, during the disaster and after the disaster. These manuals will be available to all municipalities for use. “

In July 2019, table-top exercise was organized, and manuals were tested. Table-top exercises are a flexible and cost-efficient way of training and practicing of the Civil protection headquarters. The exercise included combinations of risks related to fire, technical and technological hazards, environmental protection, as well as impact on vulnerable population groups using the Disaster Risk Analysis System (DRAS) developed within the IRLMM project for partner municipalities.

“Disasters do not know the borders, and due to climate change there is an increasing need for the engagement of protection and rescue structures and civil protection itself. These Manuals will enable local governments, and especially mayors, to review legislation as quickly and efficiently as possible and to act in an adequate and correct manner ” said  Ramo Dautbašić, Head of the Fire Protection and Fire Department in the Directorate of the Civil Protection of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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