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Electricity for three villages

By Capt. Karine Chapleau
First published in
SFOR Informer#107, February 21, 2001

Prijedor - Rizvanovici, Rakovcani and Sredice members will from now on be able to enjoy electricity in their homes and in their streets. "Electricity is a great gift for the people of these three villages," said Nada Sevo, mayor of Prijedor. "Now they can start a new life and hopefully more returnees will come back. Thanks to all of you and special thanks to the Civil - Military co-operation centre in Prijedor."
Several people attended the official opening January 19 at the Rizvanovici School including Nada Sevo, Prijedor mayor; Muharem Murselovic, chief assembly of Prijedor; Sead Jakupovic, deputy mayor for Displaced Persons and Refugees matters; Brigadier General Robert Aitkens, Deputy Commander Multinational Division Southwest; and a representative from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
"This project represents the coming together of many groups, the members of the International Community from many nations, various organisations, municipality authorities of Prijedor and the newly returned presence who will see the benefits of electricity and street lighting," said BGen Aitkens. "I hope that the same spirit of co-operation will go on forever. It is that spirit of co-operation and working together regardless of nationality, religion or ethnic origin on which the future of this wonderful country depends."
United Kingdom's Department For International Development (DFID) has invested 190 388 KM into the electrification projects in the area. Two electrification projects in Rizvanovici/Rakovcani and Sredice, a donation of 93 500 KM and 88 888 KM respectively, now provide low voltage electrification to 66 households in the villages.
A third project restored communal streetlights to the three villages at a cost of 8 000 KM. DFID, through Civil Action Projects (CAP) funds, provided money for the lights. The communities have invested 4000 KM in the projects as well as International Community such as USAID, Norwegian Refugee Council, DORCAS aid and American Refugee Committee.
DFID's goal is to contribute to the civilian aspects of the Dayton Agreement by encouraging the return of significant numbers of Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPREs) to fully integrated communities.
Czech CIMIC centres receive 3000 DM per month for CAP funding from DFID. This money is used at the discretion of the Battle Group. The CAP funds can be used to promote good relations between SFOR and the local community, to benefit the largest number of beneficiaries of more than one ethic group and the CAP project should be finished within one month. The CAP funds provide support to small projects, which would not necessarily qualify under other international aid program.
During the war, the villages and surrounding area of Sredice, Rizvanovici and Rakovcani were totally destroyed, including the infrastructure.
The municipality of Prijedor has experienced the largest cross Inter Entity Boundary Lines rate of return in Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees statistics, there are 82 registered returnees in Rizvanovici, 50 in Rakovcani and 75 in Sredice.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: UK