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Czech road building

By CPO Tim Adams
First published in
SFOR Informer #90, June 21, 2000

Donja Kozica - The residents of Donja Kozica live by a lovely river that meanders through their beautiful hamlet between the mountains near Sanski Most. The problem is that same river sometimes washes out parts of the road that is the lifeline between the community and the outside world. Five buses a day used to ferry people between Donja Kozica and Sanski Most before the war, but the road had been so destroyed that no buses and most regular cars could not use it.

Trucks hauling building materials for restoring homes were unable to travel over the road and DPREs (Displaced Persons) have been slow to return because it was so bad. All that is changing now because the Czech 43rd Airborne Mechanised Battalion is rebuilding 5.6 Kilometres of the road. The Mayor of Sanski Most and the Director of Schools asked the Czech CIMIC (Civil Military Co-operation) Centre for help on the road.

Czech Capt. Jiri Babka estimates it will take his 13 men and their five machines about 21 days to fill in the holes, widen the road in some areas and do the final grading. The director of the primary school in Donja Kozica, Slavko Kostor, said the restored road will do much for the community. "The road will be the reason why people will return. It will be possible for them to go back and forth between Donja Kozica to Sanski Most. About 200 families will return this year to this area," says Kostor. He also expects the road will bring an additional 40 students to his school.

Local residents provided the new drainage pipes and showed the Czech engineers where they could get the road making materials. "It's a humanitarian work so it's help for the local people," explained Babka. "The best feeling will be when the people here thank you in the local language," he concluded.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Czech Republic
Humanitarian Aid