Rebuilding Mostar: Urban Reconstruction in a War Zone

By John Yarwood Mbe; Andreas Seebacher et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Urban Infrastructure

The Overseas Development Administration, part of the British Foreign Office, and now known as the Department for International Development (DfID), had operated the so-called Emergency Engineering Unit in Bosnia since 1992. It already had two staff in Mostar when the EUAM was established: Denver Brown was working on water supply and Tom Connolly on power. They had done heroic work under fire to restore some vital services, although it was partial and unreliable. Denver left in December 1994 and Tom transferred to the EUAM and stayed for a further two years. They were a great help in getting us off to a flying start. Denver Brown had in part resolved the emergency in early 1994 by installing a generator and pump to take untreated water from the river to supply the east side distribution network, although the pressure was too low to reach higher ground or top floors.

Two other agencies were undertaking important projects when the EUAM was set up. Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) was attempting the repair of Studenac Well Field but had encountered serious practical problems, and project completion was long delayed. It was also repairing Mazoljice Reservoir and subsequently also rebuilt a water main crossing of the river (near Lucki Bridge). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was also supplying materials to allow repair of secondary distribution networks in the Cernica and Donja Mahala neighbourhoods as well as the Djikovina pumping station. However, labour was not paid, and action by the water companies was rather slow. It took six months of sustained effort by the EUAM to establish a complete and reliable supply.

The infrastructure companies were in a sad condition. Not only had their systems been balkanised into scarcely functional bits, but their skilled staff were mostly gone, their equipment and buildings had been destroyed and their income flow had dried up. The west water company director was well intentioned, but was a purely political appointment with no knowledge of engineering or business. The east director was a distinguished engineer, but he was a specialist in the design of high dams. However gifted he was, such a background was not an ideal preparation for managing an urban infrastructure company.

No one had taken an overview of the problem, preoccupied as they naturally were with emergency responses. I therefore appointed a British consultant team (GHKI and Kennedy Donkin) to review the condition of all systems and propose a two-year action plan based on my best guess at the total budget. They arrived in early October and took the very short space of two months to report. This report covered water, sanitation, power, solid waste and telecommunications. I stressed the

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Rebuilding Mostar: Urban Reconstruction in a War Zone
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • List of Illustrations vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • Chapter 2 - The Human Factor 10
  • Chapter 3 - Organisation 16
  • Chapter 4 - Urban Planning 28
  • Chapter 5 - Project Management 36
  • Chapter 6 - Housing 46
  • Chapter 7 - The Work of Technisches Hilfswerk in Housing Repair the Human Factor 52
  • Notes by John Yarwood *
  • Chapter 8 - Health, Education and Other Building Projects 65
  • Chapter 9 - Demolition 70
  • Chapter 10 - Construction Industry Recovery 74
  • Chapter 11 - Urban Infrastructure 79
  • Chapter 12 - Conclusions 86
  • Appendix 1 - Project Schedules 95
  • Appendix 2 - Department Staff Listing 106
  • Bibliography 108
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