On July 6, 2020 in Bijelina, Representatives of the Aquasan Network in BiH held a meeting with representatives of public utility companies (PUCs) from Bijeljina, Trebinje and Gradiška in order to get acquainted with the Project “Policy Dialogue and Skills Development in the Wastewater Sector of the Republika Srpska” and the agreement on the next activities for the implementation of the project component entitled “Skills and Competences Development”. This component of the project is aimed at developing the capacity of relevant stakeholders in the wastewater sector in BiH through knowledge transfer from Switzerland.
Representatives of the Aquasan Network in BiH presented basic information about the Project and a link to previous activities of the Platform for Dialogue and Reforms advocated through discussion within this Platform and "narrowing" the focus through this Project on the wastewater sub-sector in Republika Srpska. Participants confirmed the challenges in implementing reforms in the water services sector in general, and thus those related to wastewater due to the division of competencies between the four resource ministries in Republika Srpska. The participants of the meeting were informed that the component "Skills and Competence Development" will be implemented through the organization of three peer exchange events between Swiss and BiH operators of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). It was clarified that the experiences from the WWTP in Bijeljina and Trebinje will serve to identify challenges in the operation and maintenance of the WWTP in order to respond to them to assist those currently involved in the preparation or implementation of collection and wastewater treatment projects. such as Gradiška. In order to implement the Project, it was agreed that the key participants would appoint their own persons for communication and it was agreed that all three PUCs would appoint the same.
The Project “Policy Dialogue and Skills Development in the Wastewater Sector of the Republika Srpska” contributes to the dialogue on policies at the state, entity and local levels by supporting and strengthening the Association for Water and Environmental Protection "Aquasan Network in BiH". The project is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and is implemented in cooperation with the Swiss Water Association (VSA).