During May 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina were affected by the worst floods in the region for more than a century due to the heaviest rains seen in decades.
Northern, eastern and central parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina saw heavy rainfall, with some areas receiving more than 250 litres of rain per square meter which was the highest ever recorded. This caused extreme water levels of rivers Bosna, Sava, Vrbas and their tributaries. As a result more than 2,000 landslides were reported across the country. According to various reports, over 1 million people were affected directly or indirectly by the floods with immediate evacuation of 40,000 people- the rest over the initial few days of the flood. An AFG emergency response team was mobilised straight after the floods to assess and identify the need on the ground. In conjunction with local Bosnian aid agency Solidarnost, Al Fatiha Global were able to deliver an emergency response which included medical and vital food aid, and teams to help with the disinfection clear up process once the flood waters had started to recede.
Much of the infrastructure of towns and villages, especially those in the mountainous regions were damaged with some settlements remaining isolated for several weeks after the initial floods without electricity and water. Main roads had started to become functional on our arrival but side roads and over 20 bridges had been destroyed or damaged. Roads were still closed around many smaller villages rendering them inaccessible for the first few days post floods.
Collaboration with the Bosnian ground team Solidarnost who had been working in conjunction with the Red Cross in and around the most affected areas in the days preceding our arrival, and deliberating the fastest way to get aid to those affected by the floods, it was decided that working with a local team who were familiar with these areas we could collectively provide a food distribution campaign to reach those families who had not yet received help. Utilising their knowledge of the region and their existing networks for charity projects proved an efficient and swift method of identifying vulnerable villages and families needing immediate assistance- especially those communities in the more isolated villages. We have since provided Ramadan food parcels for those still displaced by the floods and continue to support the vulnerable and needy in Bosnia. We are also aiming to support a local school to help fund places for children who would not ordinarily be able to afford schooling.