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Waste water collection and treatment project on the Banlozi Roma settlement, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Green city development project proposed in a Roma settlement without water and sewage. The project includes municipal sewerage network and waste treatment from coal mines, and it means that Roma are displaced or left homeless.


The Banlozi Roma settlement and former refugee camp for Roma that fled Balkan Wars in the early 1990s is situated on the outskirts north of Zenica [1] [4]. Approximately seven kilometres away from Zenica [4]. There is no regular supply of clean running water, the few existing toilets are in desperate condition. During winter, many residents here have no heating. Many of them often get sick, and some even die from the desperate living conditions [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Waste water collection and treatment project on the Banlozi Roma settlement, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Country:Bosnia and Herzegovina
State or province:Zenica-Doboj canton
Location of conflict:Zenica
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Agreements on the donation from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and cooperation with German development bank KfW were signed by Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH and Minister of Finance and Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda, Director of the KfW Office in Sarajevo Matthias Schmidt-Rosen, Swiss Ambassador to BiH Andrea Rauber -Saxer, and Zenica Mayor Fuad Kasumović. The agreement on the donation was signed by the BiH Council of Ministers and the Government of Switzerland and the agreement on financing and the project by the City of Zenica and KfW, Bevanda said. At the end of 2017, the City of Zenica received a EUR 13.5 million grant from KfW and secured EUR 1 million on its own. The EUR 4.75 million from the SECO rounds off the EUR 19.2 million needed for the project. The construction of the wastewater collector, the wastewater treatment plant, and other infrastructure is planned to begin in early 2019. According to Kasumović, the Zenica mayor, the wastewater collection and treatment project in Zenica could be linked to the Green Cities project [5].

Level of Investment:14,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:2500
Start of the conflict:01/07/2018
Company names or state enterprises:German Development Bank- ( KFW) from Germany - Funder of the project
Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) from Swaziland
Relevant government actors:Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH and Minister of Finance and Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda
Faud Kasumović, the Zenica mayor
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Udruženje nacionalnih manjina iz Zenice UNM Zenica
-European Roma Right Centre
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Fires, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsEnergy poverty, lack of heating
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Development of alternatives:The alternative for the Roma of the Banlozi settlement is to provide social housing by the local government. However, 8 families would be left homeless, since the families are undocumented Roma living in the settlement. Furthermore, all Roma families are concerned about this second displacement due to a waste water plant treatment plant. The promises have not been kept before.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Although an alternative social housing has been proposed, not all families will be provided with new homes. Furthermore, the controversial question is why there are funds for "green city" development projects, from which the Roma are excluded. The government is giving priority to waste water treatment plants projects over Roma's living conditions. The Roma have been living in the settlement without water and sewage for decades now.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Dnevni Avaz: 2.500 Roma u Zenici je zaboravljeno i iznevjereno
[click to view]

[3] Blic Srpsaka Info: ROMA LIFE IN ZENICA They wake up with snakes and rats, but this is NOT the Worst they face
[click to view]

[4] Romske porodice u Banlozima mogle bi ostati bez krova nad glavom
[click to view]

[click to view]

Balkan Green Energy News: Funds secured for wastewater collection, treatment project in Zenica
[click to view]

Other documents

Banlozi Roma settlment in Zenica Source Dnevni Avaz [2]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ksenija Hanacek ICTA-UAB
Last update15/10/2019
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