Bosnia: Activists win the battle to preserve the beautiful river Una

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One of the protests for Una River - Leave Una alone, or we will rebel)

One of the protests for Una River – Leave Una alone, or we will rebel

A victory for activists preserving the natural beauty of Una river, after the town Council of Bihać approved a plan to build a hydroelectric plant on Una earlier this month.

The same governing body, after heavy pressure from the citizens and activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (part of Una’s flow is a natural border between BiH and Croatia), decided to abolish their decision.

“This is a great victory, one of the first in the ‘war’ for Una and other rivers in Bosnia like Sutjeska and Hrčavka. We say to those who see Una as an opportunity to make themselves rich – we will never allow any construction there”, said activist Aida Sejdić for frontslobode.ba.

She went on to say that Una belongs to the citizens from its spring up to its delta.

“Every drop of Una is ours and we will defend it”, said Sejdić.

During the campaign against destroying natural beauty of Una, activists gathered more than 13000 online signatures.

Bosnia is an extremely river rich country and river Una is a gem among them – it is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world – a part of identity and pride to all who live in Krajina, northwest Bosnia.

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Una flowing trough Bihać

Una is a popular tourist spot and a place where every year sports and the cultural event Una-Regata takes place. Almost every few kilometers Una forms rapids, which is a reason why this river is a popular destination for kayaking.

Besides its natural beauty Una is a home for unique wildlife such as the olm, Proteus anguinus, which is the only cave-dwelling chordate species found in Europe.  Along with rivers Unac and Krka, Una forms the Una National Park.

The affection Bosnians feel towards Una is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that a lot of women in Bosnia, particularly Bihać, are named Una – after the beloved river. Name “Una” is derived from a Latin word “uno”, meaning “one – only”. Interestingly, there are five rivers named Una, the remaining four being in Brazil.



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About Author

Agan Uzunović is a journalist from Bosnia and Herzegovina writing for Revolution News and Bosnian media. Follow him on Twitter @AganU8.