One year on from the Balkans floods: "This is the house where I was born"

Published: 20 May 2015 12:30 CET

By Andreea Anca, IFRC

Mina Livadic, 65, lives in Brcko District and was caught up in the flooding that devastated many parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 2014. The night the water burst into her home Mina, ran to her neighbour's house in her pyjamas, grabbing only the documents and a bag with the insulin she needed to treat her diabetes. She moved back to her house in August last year but more than half a meter off the floor there are still visible marks left by the floodwaters on the walls.

Mina used the 1,200 euros (BAM 2347.11) she received from the Red Cross to commission small repairs around her modest home from which very little could be saved after the waters receded. "This is the house where I was born," she says. "It has a huge sentimental value for me.” Some of the cash transfer programme payments were also used to buy medication and food.

She is still waiting for the government assistance which she would like to use to insulate her home. “I am grateful to the Red Cross for also giving me clothes and for looking after me during those terrible days,” she says. She also keeps two bags packed in case she has to leave home in a hurry again.

Support comes in non-material form as well. As Mina lives alone, Red Cross volunteers drop by from time to time to talk and to help Mina around the house with small chores, as part of the Red Cross psychosocial programme which supports vulnerable people.

To mark one year anniversary of the floods that hit several countries in the Balkans the IFRC recently produced a series of stories profiling Red Cross beneficiaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries most affected by the crisis. In the aftermath of the floods the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal for CHF 4,522,235 to support the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) in delivering assistance to some 10,000 flood-affected families. The focus of the Appeal was on the Cash Transfer programme (CTP), relief, water and sanitation, shelter, hygiene promotion, psychosocial awareness, recovery and livelihoods. The CTP programme reached a total of 2,020 households. 80% of the recipients used the cash grant to repair their homes.

The IFRC communication delegate re-visited some of the beneficiaries she and her colleagues met last year to see how they are recovering from what has been described as “the worst flood in a century” in the region.


Beneficiary profile: Mina

Mina is 65 years old. When the floods came to Brčko district in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she ...