Activists of numerous associations demand that the construction of ‘Upper Horizons’ be stopped

Activists of several associations and informal groups of citizens of the river movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina informed the citizens present in Blagaj on Saturday about the disastrous effects of the eventual full implementation of the controversial project “Upper Horizons”, which, they say, the general public does not know enough about.

Developed in the 1950s, the complex Gornji horizonti hydropower project consists of three large hydropower plants, storage pools, and canals and tunnels that collect water from the Neretva basin and, for energy use, divert it into the Trebišnjica basin, once the largest European sinkhole. The implementation of these interventions is planned in the areas of the municipalities of Nevesinje, Bileća, Berkovići and Gacko, with the majority of negative impacts manifesting through the reduction of the source capacity of the Buna, Bunica, Krupa and Bregave rivers, the ACT Foundation announced.

In the end, if all the planned interventions within the “Upper Horizons” are implemented, about two billion cubic meters of water will be transferred annually from the Neretva basin to the Trebišnjica basin, which may have unfathomable consequences for most of Herzegovina.

“Consequently, this will lead to a reduction of water inflow into the connected catchments of Buna, Bunica, Krupa and Bregava by at least 30 percent, which will have a negative impact on the flora and fauna of the mentioned river courses, as well as the whole of Herzegovina, given that there could have been a significant penetration of the water of the Adriatic Sea deeper into Herzegovina, according to some estimates even to the Bun channels”, they point out in the statement.

“I appeal to the authorities at all levels to get involved in solving the problem of “Upper Horizons”, because it would be catastrophic for Herzegovina to be left without the tributaries of the Neretva. We must not allow that at any cost,” said Oliver Arapović, president of the Ecological Association “May Flower”.

Activists of several associations also remind that it is unquestionable that the implementation of this project will have an impact on nature and the lives of people in the entire Neretva basin.

“There have never been any public discussions or consultations with the people who live in the valleys of Buna, Bunica, Krupa and Bregava. Ignoring the fact that they will be the first to feel the consequences of the realization of this project, the authorities of the Republika Srpska entity have also neglected their obligation to inform all those who could be affected by such projects at the earliest stage of the project”, they concluded.

(hair dryer)