Spanish Water Supplies
1Lt. German Francisco Muñoz
First published in
SFOR Informer#165, September, 2003
The summer sun can destroy the work of several months
in just a few days. In Popovo Polje, an area between Trebinje
and Ravno, the Spanish Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC)
had to intervene to save approximately 110 hectares of plantation
from being devastated by drought.
Popovo Polje - In collaboration the non-governmental organisation
(NGO) Movement for the Peace Development and Liberty (MPDL)
and the Spanish government funded Team International Cooperation
Spanish Agency (AECI) the authorities of the region set about
the redevelopment of the valley. The initial task was to remove
the mines to allow cultivation to begin. Currently there is
now 110 hectares being farmed. In order to sustain the crops
the water conduits needed to be repaired but this has been
delayed to to problems with the antiquated system. The continuing
drought over the last three months has started to threaten
the plantations and the local population made a plea to the
Spanish Cimic Team for help. They provided two 9000 litre
water trucks, manned by a sergeant and eight soldiers who
temporally lived in the area, delivering water to the various
properties until the situation was resolved and the conduits
The farmers expressed their gratitude to the CIMIC team and
the long term plans to repair the irrigation system, rejuvenating
a once fertile area back to its pre-war condition. Farmer
Milan Komnenovic commented, " It is extremely heart warming
to see this project, because as one of the people whose livelihood
depends on cultivating this ground, without it my future would
be very bleak. I think it would be good to extend this program
to other areas which are in need of water".
Itzlar de Miguel, the person in charge for the project within
MPDL, stated that, "It is difficult for the project to
help everyone but by helping to repair these old irrigation
systems, and with the help of SFOR we are helping to prevent
these periods of drought becoming economic crisis's".
This has been an opportunity to help the local community both
Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat.
It has very satisfying seeing the faces of the farmers knowing
we have helped them maintain their livelihoods, and bring
Bosnia and Herzegovina one step closer to normalisation"
concluded Spanish Captain Raul Sanchez Prendes, Liason Officer
Spanish Cimic Team.
Nations of SFOR: Spain