SARAJEVO - This investigation explores the damages caused to nature and small rural communities by the construction of the small hydropower plants and their access roads, and what drove investors, especially foreign ones, to seek opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 262 rivers are some of the few wild streams left in Europe, which has made the more than 11,000 kilometres over which they flow a tempting economic opportunity for investors in the hydroelectric energy sector. Around 500 small hydropower plants projects have sprung up since 2005, when Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Energy Community Treaty. The country's long-standing corruption problems have also facilitated foreign investments, particularly from companies from the European Union. In reaction to this boom, a grassroots, widespread and inter-ethnic movement for the protection of rivers spread all over the country.

The project also looks at how citizens organised themselves, forming a national coalition to protect their rivers, despite the lack of support from local institutions and the sometimes specious complaints received from investors.

Photo: Marco Carlone

Team members

Marco Carlone

Marco Carlone is a freelance photographer and film-maker based in Turin, Italy. 

Alex Čizmić

Alex Čizmić is an Italian-Bosnian freelance journalist currently based in Sarajevo.

Alex Čizmić

Leila Bičakčić

Leila Bicakcic is one of founders and CEO of Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN).

Leila Bičakčić
€8.693, allocated on 28/08/2023



  • Altreconomia magazine, issue 266, January 2024


  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

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