Lukavac recently received the status of a city with a population of around 50,000.
However, this is a city without a basic human right, without water. Although citizens have been “fighting” for water for decades, drinking water in a house or apartment is still a dream. Further promises from the authorities.
“The town of Lukavac, which used to be the first Olympic swimming pool in Bosnia and Herzegovina, now has no water and no one to solve it. If it weren’t for the elections, they would never have tried to solve anything, and then they will try again until the next elections and it will be the same again. This lake stinks. In fact, it smells unpleasant, of fish, of sludge, that the sanitary facilities are clogged. The body itches after swimming,” says the interlocutor, Hamdo Salkic.
Tens of citizens are standing at the Petrak spring in the center of the city at any moment, waiting for their turn to drink water.
“It is unlikely that we will achieve anything if we are passive like this, if we are not active. What does life without water look like? Bad. I had the opportunity to be here in the city, so when the water runs out it is really a disaster. Water is a basic thing in life and that is known”, said Esad Cibric.
Bills for the residents of Lukavac for broken water in their households arrive regularly.
“We all stand here and wait. Do you know how long we stand? Five hours at a time. I leave, sometimes I go home and then we come back. We have water in the apartment, here in Pionirska. It can’t even be used for dishes. It doesn’t work, that’s it. We get all the bills regularly and pay them regularly. We went, we spoke. What are you going to speak to when they just shout that they’re going to make water. I’ve been here for more than 40 years. And for 40 years we’ve been doing it like that, pouring here,” says Rukija Viscic.
Lukavac is known for the struggle of its citizens through the non-governmental sector to solve this problem. However, they believe that politics, which does nothing to solve the problem, is largely to blame here.
“There is no real intention to solve it, but it is more for the sake of form, to collect points, to take a certain position with the citizens and in the political part. That is the decisive factor. It starts, comes to some extent and stops, and that’s where ours starts human envy, he will succeed, but I won’t…”, said Bejazit Okic, deputy president of the Forum for Environmental Protection.
And Lukavac has a very good opportunity to get drinking water and that very easily. Namely, it is surrounded by healthy water from the river Brijesnica on Mount Ozren, then in Lukavac there is lake Modrac, from where the water is drawn and goes to Tuzla, and there is also water from lake Sicki Brod. Water also flows under the city itself.
“The people of Lukavac deserved it, and I would like to mention that the people of Lukavac have not been drinking water from their taps for forty years. That would be the basic message. It means that through the council and the governing bodies, they should give approval for the construction of the factory without political colors. Because no matter how much it costs, nothing is more valuable from human health,” says environmental activist Mensud Mehic.
The mayor of Lukavac, Edin Delic, told BHRT over the phone that they are currently working on the realization of a study for the construction of a water plant and are waiting for a cost estimate. Delic is convinced that this industrial city will soon have water. Citizens, however, are pessimistically still waiting, as they have been for the past forty years.