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Running water, what luxury!

By 1st Lt. Gregory Garbin
First published in
SFOR Informer#124, October 17, 2001

The small village of Lastavica ("swallow," in the local language), located approximately 20 kilometres in the south of Nevesinje, has been equipped with one of the basics of everyday life: running water. A short story with long-lasting consequences.

Lastavica - Lastavica is a village situated in the French Battle Group's (FrBG) Area of Responsibility. Its situation drew the attention of the 1st French Marine Regiment within the frame of its CIMIC activities.
Indeed, originally, the inhabitants of the village had to walk more than 700 metres in the surrounding hills in order to get fresh water from a spring flowing upstream there.
The sappers of the FrBG - 14th Mandate - were then required to perform two tasks: to draw off the spring water, and to build a reservoir and a watering place close to the village.
The first task had almost been fully carried out, but the reservoir was unfortunately not completely erected due to a lack of time.
So, a few days after arriving in Mostar, the FrBG 15th Mandate - comprised of the 27th BCA (Mountain Infantry Battalion), one reconnaissance squadron from the 4th RCh (Cavalry regiment) and one platoon from the 2nd REG (Engineer Regiment from the Legion Etrangere) - resumed the job.
After three weeks of work alongside the local population, the legionnaires, under the supervision of the CIMIC team of the FrBG, had completed the building of the reservoir in the vicinity of the village. They had entirely built a second reservoir above the hamlet, thus enabling a direct water supply to the dwellings.
In light of the coming winter, the French CIMIC team also took the opportunity to deliver various goods (mainly clothes and blankets) as well as toys, which were naturally immediately welcomed by the children of Lastavica.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: France