It has been the worst flooding in the Balkans since weather recording began, taking dozens of lives and leaving entire towns uninhabitable: after the biggest floods of the century hit Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia in mid-May, the situation is still dramatic. Mud and rubbish have been cleared from the streets and reconstruction measures for destroyed buildings have begun. Hansgrohe SE, the sanitation specialist from the Black Forest region in Germany, provides practical help to people in the region: during the past weeks, 1,000 bathroom mixers were delivered to the crisis area where they are distributed to the affected private households by aid organizations, such as the Red Cross or central coordination bodies.
Frank Semling, member of the board at Hansgrohe SE, was in charge of the donation campaign together with Dirk Rennau, Area Sales Manager Southeastern Europe at Hansgrohe SE. “The news about the flooding has affected us strongly. Hansgrohe has had ties to the region for many years – not in the least because we have our own employees there. They have given us first hand reports of how badly people are affected by the disaster,” explains Frank Semling. And Dirk Rennau adds: “It was important for us to provide quick and non-bureaucratic help with our own products. We had our faucets delivered directly to Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia with trucks. That means they were immediately available for reconstruction work and could be installed on short notice.”
New bathrooms ensure hygienic conditions
Once the water recedes, flooded areas often see outbreaks of diseases such as typhoid. The Balkans are also affected by this hazard after the flood disaster. One of the objectives of the aid organizations is therefore to improve the hygienic conditions for the numerous victims. “This also includes providing people with fully functioning bathrooms again. With our mixers for wash basins and showers, we help people to cover at least part of the costs for equipping their new bathrooms,” Frank Semling explains.