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A new Turovi

By Maj. Marie Richter
First published in
SFOR Informer#119, August 8, 2001

Turovi - Just a few miles south of Sarajevo lies a quiet village much of which, only one year ago was in a state of ruin due to damage during the war. Thanks to the Civil-Military Co-operation Company (CIMIC Coy) in the 3rd German Contingent, SFOR, there is now a chance for Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPREs) to return and rebuild their lives in newly constructed houses.
CIMIC Project
The CIMIC Coy undertook this project to rebuild 27 houses within the village just one year ago and is handing over the keys of the last house ready for occupancy this week. The project was funded mainly by European Union contributions but five of the houses have been funded by German Companies and small donors. Although the CIMIC Coy is part of SFOR, the financial control is from the German authorities. Therefore each house is built to the high standards of quality and safety set by German regulations. The workforce of CIMIC Coy consists of 39 soldiers all of whom have engineering or building backgrounds. They were specially chosen for their expertise in construction rather than for their military skills.
Local help
Turovi is a multi-cultural village that lies on the Inter Entity Boundary Line (IEBL) and was chosen for its location and the willingness of the residents to co-operate with CIMIC Coy and help with the rebuilding plan.
Contracts were put out to local businesses to tender in order to find the most economical way of purchasing materials and building the houses whilst providing work for local employees. Many of the villagers have also helped with the reconstruction work showing commitment from all parties involved.
The houses are now occupied and life is returning to normal. In the centre of the village locals were working together stacking the hay in preparation for sale in the autumn.
In one of the house lives Mielcha Hromo. She is 61 years old and lives alone in the one bedroom house. During the war her home was destroyed, she lost most of her possessions and was a displaced person.
Now she has a safe, secure home. The electricity and water supplies are being connected this week. Inside the house there is some basic furniture and a cooker, but as the plastering is only just finished it is too early yet to paint the walls.
Through an interpreter she said, "This is a peaceful village, we want to leave the past behind and rebuild our lives. My brother is in Sarajevo and hopefully he will return soon."
Youth Hostel
Nearby in Trnovo the CIMIC Coy have placed two containers together, directly on the IEBL, which the villagers have converted into a youth club. The officer in charge of CIMIC logistics, Col. Matthias Meier, spoke about the project: "This is a great opportunity to rebuild a multi-cultural community. The youth club will provide a facility for all the young people of the village to enjoy themselves together."
Soon the CIMIC Coy will change staff and the new ones will then begin with their next project.

Related links: CIMIC
Nations of SFOR: UK