Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Republic of Srpska, headed by Đokić, has, since the beginning of his mandate, allowed for the construction of tens of small hydroelectric power plants that have left in their wake devastated and barren riverbeds, resulted in deforestation and dying of animal and plant life, and reduced water availability for local communities.
One such damaging project has been made possible for the company owned by the minister’s official driver. In this particular case, the minister did not hesitate to produce documentation necessary for the construction work, but did so after the construction began. During the times of crisis due to the pandemic, a construction of a small hydroelectric power plant on Bjelava river began without the necessary permits. On the day of the local community protest, minister Đokić signed the documentation approving ‘detailed geological exploration’, in an attempt to legalize the illegal actions of the investor.
At the same time, during minister Đokić’s mandate, the Ministry discontinued incentives for wind-powered turbines, thereby favorizing the hydroelectric power plants. Such decisions are a direct attack on the future of energy projects in this region, making the communities dependent on coal powered electric plants in the long term, while at the same time supporting the devastation of rivers through the hydroenergy projects.
All this is by and large financed by the citizens and economy of the Republic of Srpska via the electrical energy bills they pay monthly. Average family spends around 30 KM a month toward renewable sources of energy, which for the largest part end up in the pockets of small hydropower plant investors. Instead of buying school supplies for our children, we are adding to the wealth of a handful of tycoons.
In order to save our rivers, more than a resignation of one minister is needed. The People’s Assembly of the Republic of Srpska came close to a historic decision – to listen to the voice of people and once and for all prohibit the construction of small hydropower plants.
The man who built his political career on energy projects detrimental to the survival of us and our children in this region cannot lead the new chapter of our history and cannot be trusted with our sustainable future. For the immeasurable damage he has caused to the environment as well as the health of the local community members, he has to take political, moral, and civic responsibility.
Therefore, we are demanding immediate and unconditional resignation of minister Petar Đokić.
ARBOR MAGNА, Banja Luka
Centar za demokratiju i tranzicionu pravdu (CDTP), Banja Luka
Centar za ekologiju i energiju, Tuzla
Centar “Stjepan Bolkay”, Olovo
Centar za životnu sredinu, Banja Luka
Ornitološko društvo “Naše ptice”, Sarajevo
Resursni Arhus Centar u BiH, Sarajevo
Savez udruženja paraplegičara USK, Velika Kladuša
Udruženje građana “Neretvica – Pusti me da tečem”, Konjic
Udruženje građana “Za Doljanku” Jablanica
Udruženje građana “Bjelava”, Foča
Udruženje oboljelih od šećerne bolesti, Bužim