Prokosovići Water

Prokosovići Water
With the Local Communities for Cleaner Water Sources (April 2003-May 2004)
Unfortunately drinking and wastewater problems are not exclusively found in Tuzla, but occur in all of the largest cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For this reason we here at the Center for Ecology and Energy of Tuzla (CEETZ) have decided that we should show the people that even the local communities can make great strides forward in dealing with such situations, even with just a little work on their part. Our goal is twofold: on the one hand to simply protect the water sources, but also we want to lead the community into a better, more environmentally-focused mindset, especially with respect to water and its usage.

The city of Tuzla, with its 160 000 inhabitants, is the cultural, economic, educational and athletic center of the surrounding canton of the same name. Despite this, even Tuzla has access to water for a mere six hours total per day, split into two separate time periods. There are no water treatment facilities for wastewater in the city. Even so, the lack of awareness, or a development thereof, among the general population remains a significant problem Unfortunately these issues are not limited only to the city, but similar situations can be found in other parts of the canton as well.

Ideas have been put forth for usage of Modrac Lake (SA=16,75km2; V=88x106m3) to alleviate the water supply problems for the cities of Tuzla, Lukavac and Živinice, but so far little has been done to achieve such an endeavor. CEETZ wishes increase the awareness of the inhabitants around Modrac Lake and motivate them for a successful and lasting renewal of such initiatives concerning the potential usage of the lake.

The project “With the local community for cleaner water sources” was implemented by CEETZ between April 2003 and May 2004 in the community of Prokosovići, part of the city of Lukavac.

The overall goal of the project was to protect Modrac Lake through a combination of education over environmental issues for the local inhabitants and their own active participation in eco-activities for the area.

The project was equally funded by the following sources:

  • Ministry of Land, Water and Forest Resources of Tuzla Canton – Water Department
  • Swiss Consulate to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo
  • Hardwasser AG, in Basel, Switzerland
One can find descriptions of the realized activities/projects and their results that occurred between April 2003 and May 2004.

Implemented Activities

  1. Selection was made of the candidate community
  2. Cooperation with all levels of government were mapped
  3. Inhabitants were stimulated and encouraged
  4. Instead of just the originally-planned 4 workshops and seminars, an additional 3 were held
  5. Promotional material (consisting of 3 types of brochures and 1 poster) were printed and distributed
  6. Waterflow regulators were purchased and distributed
  7. Survey-forms were written and prepared
  8. Surveys were filled out and collected in 206 households
  9. Cooperation with the schools was established for recycling and refurnishing
  10. Separated-paper collection for recycling purposes was introduced
  11. Contact was established with the firm responsible for purchasing the separated-paper
  12. Clean-up in the community and especially along the shoreline of Modrac Lake was organized
  13. Contact was established with the local Office for Public Works and Sanitation
  14. Permanent waste collection services were organized
  15. Purchase of trash cans and dumpsters for mixed-waste was organized
  16. Implemented activities and results achieved were given at a concluding presentation
Implemented Activities and Results Achieved
  1. With the support of the local and Cantonal governments the community of Prokosovići was found to be suitable for implementation fo the project.
    Part of the city of Lukavac, Prokosovići is the largest community on the lake. It is also a tourist center, of sorts, for the region with over thirty tourism-oriented businesses (hotels, bars, restaurants, etc.). The problems with the water supply and sewer system has not yet been fully solved. However, the positive results of this project should motivate neighboring communities to follow the example of Prokosovići to implement similar measures to protect their own water sources.

    The community of Prokosovići has 1950 inhabitants, including 500 family houses und 150 vacation homes.
    In order to efficiently accomplish the goals of the project, we divided up the community into smaller parts to more efficiently tackle the issues. The main problems within the community are concerned with the scarcity of drinking water and the lack of a sewer system, as well as unregulated dumping of waste, particularly near water sources.
    The water supply system is more than thirty years old. Water usage remains quite high (8-10 m3/month per household) and water meters are all quite old. However, the price of water is low, at about 0,8KM (approximately 0,4€) per cubic meter. There are also five artesian wells for pumping groundwater into the potable-water pipe system, though they can only supply a third of the community.

  2. Contact was made with all levels of government, resulting in good cooperation.
  3. Through encouragement and stimulation of the inhabitants by various means (written invitations to seminars handed out door-to-door to the community members, posters, media exposure, telephone campaigns and the help of active, local citizens), we managed to motivate the inhabitants to participate in the activities of this project.
  4. We educated the locals through seven seminars and workshops on the following topics: rationed water usage, use of rainwater, protection of water currents, augmentation and enrichment of groundwater, paper recycling and solutions to the waste problems.
    • Workshop I took place on 19.06.2003. The topic was ecological protection of air, water, land and waste. It dealt with current environmental issues and problems, particularly those most relevant to the community. 28 citizens took part in these discussions.
    • Workshop II took place on 19.08.2003. The topic was water and our impact, especially concerning protection of water currents, usage under ration-conditions and use of rainwater. Nine citizens participated in the discussions.
    • Workshop III took place on 05.11.2003. The topic was recycling as a means of reducing the amount of waste. Ten citizens took part in the discussions.
    • Workshop IV took place on 05.11.2003. The topic was again water and our impact, focusing on protection of water sources, use under ration-conditions and usage of rainwater. Ten citizens participated in the discussions.
    • Workshops V & VI took place on 18.02.2004. The topic was recycling of paper. All teachers and pupils of the Prokosovići elementary school took part, making for a total number of 28 participants (10 teachers and 18 pupils).
    • Workshop VII took place on 12.03.2004. The topic was again paper recycling, but it was especially designed for a local women’s group in the community of Prokosovići. Fourteen people participated.
  5. Promotional material was printed:
    • Pamphlet on water usage and conservation (200 pieces)
    • Pamphlet entitled “Using Rainwater” (200 pcs.)
    • Brochure “Water and Us” (1000 pcs.)
    • Survey about current environmental issues and problems in the community
    • Leaflets to stimulate discussion among the inhabitants
    • Color posters (500 pcs.)
  6. Waterflow regulators were distributed among the citizens. Water usage can be decreased with such devices, with negligible difference in effectiveness of daily tasks.
  7. The survey was written and prepared for implementation.
  8. We distributed a survey to members of the community. It was produced in order to establish more clearly and definitively the environmental problems of the area, and as a result also raise awareness among citizens about such issues.
    • It took place on the following dates in 2003: the 27-28th of October, the 3rd and 18-19th of November and on the 2nd of December.
    • The surveys were analyzed on the 8th and 9th of December, 2003. Even though this project originally planned only to pose questions to the inhabitants concerning waste issues and problems, this survey was expanded to include a wider and more complete perspective of environmental issues in Prokosovići. It was distributed and completed in 206 households. The results of this survey can be found in the attached supplemental material.
  9. Cooperation was established with the elementary school of Prokosovići. It participated in the paper collection system. To this end we organized two seminars in the school with the topic of paper recycling. Furthermore we decorated the school grounds with flowers and set up several trash cans to help maintain cleanliness.
  10. Now the school, women’s club and interested businesses in the community have appropriately-sized dumpsters for separated-paper collection. The women’s club has a 1100L dumpster and the stores received five 240L and four 360L cans.
    This paper collection was organized instead of the planned old motor oil collection, because the results of the survey revealed that half of the citizens didn’t own an automobile anyway. Also 50% of those who did usually took their vehicles to a mechanic, who had their own methods for dealing with old motor oil, therefore signifying minimal quantities of oil to be collected for this project.
  11. Removal of old paper was introduced. This collection service occurs monthly.
  12. We organized more clean-up activities within the community and especially along the shoreline of Lake Modrac. One action was done in cooperation with the community, such that citizens were able to get rid of bulkier items through the program, thus preventing potential illegal dumping of the items in the future. Fifty citizens total participated in this action.
  13. At our initiative, the community of Prokosovići became a pilot-program for the area. Its citizens now must be included in waste collection, which was not formerly the case. With the assistance of the city of Lukavac and the local Office for Public Works and Sanitation, we managed to obtain funding for this waste collection service, which was formerly only on a voluntary and self-funded basis. Hopefully the expansion of the waste-collection service’s network will prevent further illegal dumping.
  14. Cooperation with the local Office for Public Works and Sanitation:
    250 green trash cans were purchased for mixed waste collection, each with a volume of 120L. The citizens themselves paid for 50% of the cost for these cans, while 30% was covered by the Cantonal Water Department and the remaining 20% by the Lukavac Office for Public Works and Sanitation. We are of the opinion that such methods are ideal for increasing environmental awareness of citizens, by involving them in processes and “real-world” activities with tangible results like long-term waste collection.
  15. Through the seminars, promotional material and “real-world” activities (clean-up activities in the community, removal of illegal dumping grounds and the decoration and furnishment of the schoolyard), we have achieved noticeably positive changes and increases in the awareness of the local inhabitants. They have begun to organize self-initiated actions of their own. For example, the citizens found an illegal landfill along a road in Prokosovići and cleared out the waste materials there, then posted a sign forbidding illegal dumping at that site. To enforce such measures, they established contact with the inspection office overseeing such matters.
  16. The project was presented twice at the international level in Europe:
    • In September 2003 in Bulgaria, at the 4th Youth Parliament for Water
    • In October 2003 in Switzerland, at the 5th Youth Parliament for Water
  17. Media work:
    • Press conference held in Prokosovići (19.06.2003). Representatives for the RTV Lukavac and RTV Tuzla Canton television stations were present.
    • Presentation on Radio “Slon” (17.06.2003).
    • Presentation on Radio “Soli” (18.06.2003).
    • Presentation on the Morning Show of the Federation TV station (19.06.2003).
    • Presentations on Radio “Kameleon” (19.06.2003 and 29.04.2004).
    • Presentation on Radio “Vesta” (29.04.2004).
    • Presentations on RTV Lukavac and RTV Tuzla Canton (29.04.2004).

      The project was presented on three TV station’s channels (at the federal, cantonal and local levels) and at five radio stations.

  18. The activities that were implemented and their results achieved were given at a concluding presentation on 29.04.2004.
  19. Status and results of the project in Prokosovići:
    After the one-year implementation of the project in the community of Prokosovići, we achieved the following positive results and realizations:

    • It seems that the number of interested inhabitants within the community has increased.
    • After activities organized by the project and self-initiated actions by the citizens themselves, several illegal dumping grounds have been cleared.
    • Water supply has been improved by financial support from the cantonal government.
    • Payment for water service has improved, though control of those collected expenses should be better maintained, so as to insure that surplus money is re-invested properly into developing the water system of the community.
    • The community of Prokosovići is one of the few small suburban communities to have functioning and suitable water meters (This was a result of the survey taken among community members).
    • Most households have septic tanks with two chambers; in the next phase of the project, these could be used as primary chambers for sedimentation in a wastewater treatment system.
    • Wastewater is first treated in these septic tanks, before flowing off in either open canals or closed pipes to the lake. At the end, near the lake, this system ceases to use any more closed pipes. Before flowing into the lake this wastewater must pass through an organic, natural filter, but this method is hardly sufficient for proper treatment of the water before entering the lake.
    • The guesthouses along the shore of Lake Modrac simply release their water directly into the lake after the primary sedimentation.
    • The sedimentation in the city of Živince goes one step further. The wastewater there includes the wastewater from an industrial center, particularly important is the sedimentation of the remnants of coal-burning. The size of both the surface area and volume of Lake Modrac continues to decrease as a result of this sedimentation:
      • In 1964, when this accumulation of sediment began to build up, the dimensions of the lake were SA=17,10km2 and V=98x106m3.
      • In 1985, the dimensions shrank to SA= 16,75km2 and V=88x106m3.
    • The laws covering environmental protection of water are governed at a federal level. Therefore it is especially important to lobby the government at this level to ensure that the laws are actually enforced properly.
  20. Evaluation of the project:
    Two workshops were organized on 22.05.2004. The goals of these workshops were to analyze the implementation of the project and to define potential means to continue and further build upon the successes of the project.
    The following participants were at these workshops: the Director of the Water Department, Mayor of Lukavac, Chairman of the Lukavac Office for Public Works and Sanitation, members of the Prokosovići Community Council, residents of the community of Prokosovići, representatives of our Swiss partner organization (das Umweltschutz- und Energiezentrum, Basel), representatives of the Swiss company Metron, staff of CEETZ and volunteers who took part in the implementation of the project.

    • At this workshop we came to the conclusion that this project initiated important processes within the community of Prokosovići that have already yielded excellent results, and can continue to be successful if similar activities are further developed.
    • The evaluation showed that treatment of the wastewater through small, natural methods is a priority. Construction of a small, natural treatment facility, which could serve as a valuable example, is thought to be the first step. Its construction could be realized through cooperation between volunteers, local inhabitants, and experts and companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as those with international origins.
    • Because the small treatment centers we envision are not overly expensive and much of the installation could be done by the residents themselves, we hope to spread this model throughout Tuzla Canton, and afterwards across all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      It has been planned to develop this project in three phases:
      Phase 1: Preparatory measures (collection of information and data in the community)
      Phase 2: Pre-implementation measures (technical analyses, collection of appropriate permits and design of the systems)
      Phase 3: Construction of the treatment facilities

  21. Vision for the future:
    The processes we have initiated already need to be pursued further and must continue to be supported properly. Special attention should be paid to the implementation and enforcement of laws concerning water (Water prices and their payment must be made public, and in particular business with such funds should remain transparent). For such laws, a focus should be put on solutions for questions concerning wastewater treatment in Prokosovići and all other communities located on Lake Modrac.
  22. Gratitude
    We wish to thank with utmost gratitude all those people who gave support to the project. We especially are grateful to the donors and financial supporters of the project: Ministry of Land, Water and Forest Resources – Water Management of Tuzla Canton, the Swiss Consulate to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the company Hardwasser AG from Basel. Also we thank the professional assistance of our Swiss partner organization (Förderverein des Umwelt- und Energiezentrum), the cooperation of the city of Lukavac, the participation of the inhabitants of the community of Prokosovići and the contributions made by volunteers, all of whom made this project possible and its goals able to be realized.

Tuzla, 10.06.2004                                    Project Coordinator Sabina Jukan, B.S. Tech. Eng.