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Šuti i trpi


Šuti i trpi, shut up and suffer, is like a Mantra. Mothers are used to saying it to their children, youngsters repeat it reciprocally  sitting in a café, old men whisper it grumbling about politics. Šuti i trpi is the ill-concealed imperative of politicians and rulers used as a subtext for rough measures that reveal how little the dynamics of power have changed over the last 20 years. People fall back on a quiet fatalism, because in the common feeling nothing could be worse than war.

Today the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina appears short-sighted in regard to development policies, aiming to preserve the aid program from Europe and transferring ownership of its precious assets to Serbia, Russian business groups, and global corporations. Energy, and in particular the granting of river sections for building dams, seems to be the most recent strategy to attract foreign capital, but not all deals take place transparently.

The environmentalist groups denounce that the construction of these dams all over the country would be a profitable deal for the builders, but a disaster for the local community: Krupa na Vrbasu, a small town a few kilometers from Banja Luka, would be at risk of flooding; the Vrbas river, a source of drinking water for the town of Banja Luka, would undergo microclimatic changes and pollution. Moreover, great sismic risk characterizes the areas chosen for the dams. Even if people seem to be indifferent to this attack to their water resources, some groups started several campaigns to protect

the rivers. The environmentalists claim that a sustainable use of the river would be preferable to the risks involved in building hydroelectric stations. In 2009 the Vrbas river hosted both the world rafting championships and the European kayak championships, which have galvanized the anti-dam front. However, the Republika Srpska government has signed a contract and the present stalled situation could soon change. In the North West of the country, in the area of Bihac, the italian activist Paola Lucchesi is working for the development of sustainable tourism and agriculture, aiming to defend the Una river. She is sure that the best assets of the country are its water resources and the way they will be managed will contribute to determine the wealth, or poverty, of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the near future.

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