The Municipality of Foča-Ustikolina in the Bosna-Podrinje Canton Goražde consists of one part of the former Foča Municipality that was reintegrated into the Federation of BiH in 1995. The surface area of the municipality is about 180 square kilometers and it mostly lays on the left and with a smaller part on the right bank of the Drina River.
Given that the Municipality of Foča-Ustikolina is situated on the banks of several rivers and creeks, fishing has always been highly developed in Ustikolina. Oases of greenery and beauty in the basins of the rivers enable ideal conditions for the development of river tourism in this area. At the territory of this municipality are also numerous facilities and symbols from the rich cultural-historical heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina that make up a part of its history.
Zijad Kunovac, Mayor of the Foča-Ustikolina Municipality who has been performing this duty for 12 years now, believes that this local community has the potential for development in the future, and since they never had a developed industry, they focused on the development of tourism.
“Along the Drina River, there are conditions for construction of hotels and other capacities for the development of tourism and attracting tourists who travel to the seaside, Travnik and other destinations, and who never had an opportunity to see the natural beauties of this part of Bosnia,” Kunovac says.
Kunovac said that this locality has a great potential for the development of religious tourism.
“We have Aladža and the oldest mosque in Ustikolina, as well as the space we can define in cooperation with the Embassy of Turkey – the place where the Ottomans stepped on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. That is a project we want to implement in the coming period through the Turkish Developmental Agency TIKA. That would be a backbone of religious tourism and a way to open Sarajevo towards our local community,” Kunovac thinks.
Kunovac suggests a one-day (or several-day long) tourist tour that could look like this: Aldžanska Mosque, Ustikolina – the oldest mosque and the stepping of Ottomans on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, visit to the sepulchral ensemble Presjeka where tourists can see medieval tombstones and a turbeh, the good waters that are visited by hundreds of people every year, then the tour would continue towards Goražde and the Kajserija Mosque, and then towards Višegrad.
In addition to the cemetery on Presjeka, the national monument of BiH, three more localities at the territory of this municipality have been declared national monuments: Modro Polje (historical area), Most na Kožetini (historical monument), and Zebina Šuma (historical area), and the Mayor of this municipality believes that precisely this is the reason why they can work on the promotion and strengthening of tourism.
According to Kunovac, the potential of this area also lies in economic investing. With this aim in mind, the municipality administration intends to launch a project of exploring the reserves in the unexplored part of the gypsum mine, as well as the testing of the sources of mineral water in order to define the quality of water.
Agriculture has also developed here over the past several years. Agriculture was traditionally not an expanded branch or primarily activity here, because the population was mostly employed in other institutions, and they also had the baking industry. However, the municipal authorities managed to convince the people that agriculture is one of the primary activities that should be developed, and now a lot of people deal with growing raspberries.
“It is difficult to live of agriculture, the conditions are not great, but the situation is certainly better than three years ago when, for example, people were asking for help from the municipality more than today. Today, the awareness of people is changed, they work, they want to live of their work and have a normal life,” Kunovac says.
(Source: klix.ba/photo: novosti.rs)