Today is the first sunny day in the Balkans after a violent four-day storm that devastated the scenery. In parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, that sun shines over streams that were once streets. Tens of thousands of people who walked those streets only a few short days ago now live in evacuation centers. Motor and paddle boats make their way down flooded alleys, trying to find those who haven’t escaped in time, trying to prevent the death toll from rising even further.
It has been the worst flooding in the last century, and the tragedy has brought the Balkan countries together. The rest of the world did not turn a blind eye either. As the local community built sandbag barriers all along the river Sava in an attempt to contain it, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Austria, The Czech Republic, Russia, Israel and other countries sent rescue teams, equipment and necessary supplies to help the flood victim.
But as the water recedes, it becomes more and more evident what a long and painful journey lies ahead of those who are now making their beds in evacuation centers. After the flood, many of these people will have no homes to return to. Some houses have been lost in mudslides, some are barely standing, and all that was in them is now as good as gone.
There may not be any jobs to return to. Some of the parts under water are heavily reliant on agriculture, and their fields and orchards are ruined, their cattle is gone, their fresh water supplies are contaminated.
They do not only have their homes to rebuild, but also their communities and their lives.
Help is still needed. If you can contribute in any way at all, do not hesitate. Every little act of kindness counts.