The story of garbage in Bosnia-Herzegovina's rivers seems to be endless. Within few days, volunteers collected more than two hundred bags of trash

3.5.2021 - PRAGUE / SARAJEVO
River Krivaja, Olovo
PHOTO: Coalition for the protection of rivers of BiH

From April 22nd until April 25th, at the occasion of World Earth Day, almost one hundred volunteers from various locations across Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to spend their free time by cleaning up the rivers in their neighbourhoods. More than 200 hundred bags of trash were collected within these few days. Series of river-cleaning events are organized as an important river-protection reminder by the NGOs Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Arnika (Czechia), Center for the Environment and Eko Gotuša in cooperation with local initiatives. 

Within this event, nine rivers were cleaned by the local NGOs and volunteers: Vrbas river (Banja Luka), Neretvica - Nevizdrac Bay (Konjic), Kruščica (Vitez), Željeznica (Fojnica), Drežnica (Gornja Drežnica), Lašva (Vitez), Drinica (Bijeljina), Lepenica (Kiseljak), Krivaja (Olovo). “For example in Fojnica, we cleaned the left bank of the river Željeznica and a section of the road Bakovići - Trošnjik (about 4 km). In a group of 25 people, we collected more than 80 bags of garbage and a lot of solid waste. It was full of two car trailers,” describes Robert Oroz from Eko Gotuša. 

Photogallery from the event is available here.

The amount of waste is concerning - during the river cleaning in the canyon of the river Krivaja, at about 1,5 km long section, 11 volunteers collected 73 bags of garbage. “We hope these events can remind that we have to protect our rivers, both against hydropower plants and pollution. We deeply appreciate everyone who decided to do something for their river in their free time, but we should not forget that in the first place, keeping the rivers clean should be the responsibility of authorities, not the ecological activists,” says Zuzana Vachunova from Arnika, coordinator of the joint project supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program. 

“A really big problem is the waste in Drina and Vrbas river, which we witnessed this year. Unfortunately, this is a recurring problem and the authorities are not taking specific steps to solve it. In addition, we need to raise people's awareness of the harmfulness of waste and that rivers are not a place where this waste can be disposed at with no consequences for our environment,” adds Dragana Skenderija, coordinator of the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

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