On of the bigger reconstruction projects that is
going on in Sarajevo is the Amsterdam City Link project. This project tries
to rebuild the battered place Hrasno and make it livable again. Not that
there wouldn't be live over there is this project wouldn't be there. Hundreds
of refugees, form the countryside and from abroad live in Hrasno.
The project seems to be a reconstruction project
but by reading this article you will see there are much more things involved.
We will take some articles from the Newsletter they
spread around. This will be completed with words of Kenan Hazaric, employee
at the office and spokesman now that Felix de Vries is in Holland for a
The City Link project tries to rebuild the complete
neighborhood. In this area there are 43 buildings of which 5 skyscrapers.
There are 3431 apartments of which 1000 partly or completely unused due
to damage. Besides that City link tries to establish a structure that is
necessary for the maintenance of the neighborhood.
With these reconstruction also all social issues
are involved. The City Link project is linked to Bradford, UK. The Jewish
organization La Benevolencija build a huge network for humanitarian aid
during the war and is now responsible for the coordination of social projects
in the neighborhood. Of the organizations that work with such issues is
Refugee Trust Ireland. They also have their office in Hrasno.
The Red Cross has a kitchen with free meals on the
corner of the same building as City Link is in. Many, especially elderly
live in poverty.
There is a lot that need to be spoken about. City
Link gets her funds from Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels, etc. Besides that
there is support from the Canton Sarajevo, for example in fixing sewerage,
parks and playgrounds and such things. Problem for City Link is that all
the conditions as set by these donators, have to be connected. One of the
condition of the EU is that refugees must be able to return. A guaranty
of that is necessary from the local authorities. The Canton gave the condition
that there must be delivered a list with all people who live in the area,
and this list must be checked before the project can start with internal
rebuilding. You can imagine these conditions can create a monstrous burocraty.
Besides that there is a problem of ownership. Off
course the millions will not be putted into a project that turns out to
be a private company in the near future. This problem is for most of the
reconstruction projects in Bosnia Hercegovina.
A commission will be established with representatives
of UNHCR, EU and the canton of Sarajevo, that must prepare the final agreement.
Still one of the most important aims of the City
Link project is to cooperate with municipal institutes of the city of Sarajevo.
These institutes are in a process of change , from socialist system towards
a market oriented system. The Hrasno project can be seen as a learning
experience to the institutes, as much as it is to Amsterdam. Different
section of the city of Sarajevo are formally involved in the project. The
alderman for Urbanization of Sarajevo, the Chief of the Section Housing
and Public Buildings and the alderman of Urbanism of the Opstina Novo Sarajevo
are members of the steering committee of the project. The municipal
housing organization, Sarajevostan, is appointed to be supervisor of the
project. JKP park, the municipal company for public green spaces and Vodovod,
the municipal company for water supply and sewage systems are partners
in the project.
Right now they work with landscape architects form
abroad and with students form the art academy for decorating the area.
First thing they did was starting with demining,
investigation of the situation and after that repairing the roofs and,
as far as possible, fixing windows. Another problem came up. They found
a shell in the wall on the 8th floor. This one was not explodes yet. So
they called SFOR. 'OK, we'll put it on the list', was the friendly voice
on the other side. Month could go by without noticing anything of them.
For a project like this that is kind of ridiculous so the phoned the Bosnia
army and they did it in return of a payment.
(From Hrasno Rehabilitation news October 1997)
A lot is going on in Hrasno. A large number of buildings
are going to be repaired. Many residential complexes have already had their
roofs fixed and a number of buildings have new facades. Aside from this,
attention is also being paid to parks and gardens in the Neighborhood and
educational program's are being started. A music festival has been organized
which was received enthusiastically by a large number of visitors. Many
of the shops in Hrasno are open again and there remains, the continuing
story of the asbestos problem
Small scale educational projects for Do It Yourself
Repairs are going to be started. The idea is that experienced professionals
will be brought out of their retirement to help train the unemployed in
doing do-it-yourself chores around the house. This project is based on
the idea that even buildings which have not been severely damaged can be
repaired using qualified personnel. Incidentally, by education and training
the unemployed they will have much better chances on the labor market.
volleyball team Zeljenicar got donated a new outfit by the Amsterdam department
of the Volleyball league and the first result is there. They became champion
of Bosnia. A good example of material support that enlarges the resilience.
In that area they could do with a lot more in Hrasno.
The last month 14 roofs, 2 facades and 34 stairways
are repaired. The repairment of a stairways means new doors, windows, lightning
and so on.
The facades where colored many colors. Spontaneous
reactions as 'Fantastic, this is the best statement against the depression'
and ' at last somebody shows a different approach to Sarajevo' were heard
many times. The solution was good, cheap and it was interesting enough
for politicians to stand in front of and get caught by the camera. In the
hope to get some more promises of them.
Further we try to design a part of the neighborhood
for disabled people. Sarajevo doesn't have only disabled people from the
war, but, of course also in general. In these countries there weren't good
facilities for them. There were no integration projects like in Holland.
With this project we try to give an example as well.
A new area of work will be the two flats completely
at the edge of Hrasno. These flats are heavily damaged. These are the only
flats that do not have fixed roofs yet. First we have to investigate what
is the situation of the construction, before we can start. We need laboratories
results for that. With these results and our recommendation we could get
permission of the local authorities. A part is collapsed. We expect that
there could be mines.
An other point is the waterpipes. Before we can
install new pumps (now the water get to the 6th floor maximum) we first
have to check the complete net. There wasn't water for 5 years in those
The Hrasno City Link Project takes three years and
will be finished in December 1998. The program will cost approximately
20 million DM. For a complete restoration approximately 50 Million DM extra
is needed. In November 1997 proposals are done to prolong the project.
This happened in cooperation with the ministry of foreign affairs of Holland,
with the EU and with several others.
A list with needs is to long to publish but we'll
do it anyway
APPEAL FOR DONATIONS AND SPONSORING THE HRASNO PROJECT
The foundation is looking for donations for sponsor
targets. An overview of sponsor targets can be found on this page. Questions
regarding this list can be directed to the Foundation (address and phone
numbers can be found in the colophon). Contributions can be made on the
account of the City Link Amsterdam Sarajevo Foundation, Postbank 7777350,
in The Netherlands. Please mention 'contribution Sarajevo'.
We look forward to your reaction.
The staff-members of ING-Barings Bank from Vienna,
Austria, donated clothes and tools. The tools will be used by the inhabitants
of Hrasno as part of a "self-repair" project, so that they can repair damage
in their own apartments. The donated clothes are divided among the citizens
On behalf of the City Link Amsterdam Sarajevo foundation
we would like to thank the ING-Barings Bank from Vienna for their efforts.
General facilities for schools in Hrasno
Audio-visual education, material for a school magazine,
theatre equipment (for primary- and secondary school, and school for handicapped
children), excursions, seats, school yard, canopy (terrain reconstruction
for primary school), construction of a sports field.
Arrangement of workshops
Sewing machines, drawings and materials for weaving
looms (for textile production), means for medical adjustments (elevated
sanitary, wheelchair-washbasins, taps etc.), drawings for production of
medical adjustments (adjusted sink-unit, bows, shower seats etc.)
The workshops are meant to involve and coach residents
in certain jobs in the community or in the production of certain facilities
for private use.
General facilities in the community
Construction of playgrounds, sports goods, street
furniture, road construction, reconstruction of green facilities, art,
start of a children's farm, construction of a youth/community centre, washing
All sorts of (professional, electric) tools are
Tools, necessary for: plumbing, plastering, painting,
tiles, electricity, masonry, wallpapering, steelworks and all other useful
tools you can think of.
High pressure cleaners, industrial vacuum cleaners,
generator, press tools, plasterer's mixers and chutes.
Of course you can contact their office in Holland
P/O Box 1900
1000 BX Amsterdam
Felix de Vries
Trg Heroja 43
00 387 71 653387 tel/fax