Visit to a Clearance Project Site in Konjic, BiH
On 2 December 2015, Ambassador of Canada to Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, H.E. Ms. Lisa Helfand, accompanied by Ambassador Damjan Bergant, ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF) Director, as well as representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) and Municipality of Konjic, visited a formerly mined area in Bijela-Ravni Kuk in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2015, the Government of Canada donated 600,000 CAD through ITF for demining and technical survey activities on eight locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Municipalities of Foča, Doboj, Han Pijesak, Petrovo, Konjic, Kalesija, Zvornik and Bosanska Krupa. A total of 345,493 square meters of land contaminated with landmines/UXO were cleared and handed over to local communities that can now use these areas for agriculture, animal husbandry, collection of forest fruits, forestry and safe everyday activities, without fear of mine threats.
In Bijela-Ravni Kuk an area of 87,593 square meters was cleared. Due to the proximity of the formerly contaminated area to local population’s housing, the clearance project directly contributed to their safe living environment. Now, the area is also available for the Municipality to implement its development project of building mini hydro-electric power plant. This location is important for tourism as well, as it is close to the highest mountain range in BiH Prenj, and the river Neretva. The municipality of Konjic is biggest municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at the same time also one with the densest mine contamination as even 6% of its territory is covered in mines.
So far, the Government of Canada donated 11,147,628.99 USD through ITF for its activities, the majority of which was dedicated to mine action in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the occasion of the site visit, Expression of Gratitude Certificates were delivered to H.E. Ambassador Helfand as a sign of appreciation for the contribution of the Canadian Government to the demining process in BiH. The Certificates were delivered with an honest hope that cooperation with a greatly positive impact on sthe afety and welfare of local communities will be continued.