War in Ukraine: More than 1.4 million people without water, mainly in the east of the country – OCHA

“Attacks on water infrastructure and power cuts have left 1.4 million people in the east of the country without water,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation report on the conflict in Ukraine. At the same time, another 4.6 million people have limited access to this resource.”

At least 20 separate cases of damage to water infrastructure have been recorded in eastern Ukraine alone. And the situation is “even worse in cities like Mariupol and Kherson”.

In this eastern part of Ukraine, children and their families have been without running water and sanitation, a regular supply of food and medical care for several weeks. “They are sheltering in their homes and underground, waiting for the bombing and violence to stop,” OCHA said.

More than 108 attacks on Ukrainian health services

Faced with this water need, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) funded the purchase of liquefied chlorine for two water utilities to facilitate drinking water supplies. However, the United Nations urges the parties to the conflict to respect and protect civilian infrastructure, including water supply infrastructure, in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

In addition, the United Nations is deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks on health facilities. Almost 108 attacks on healthcare facilities were recorded in Ukraine, affecting 94 facilities. They left 73 dead and 51 injured, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which reminds that health facilities must be respected and protected by all parties to the conflict.

More broadly, there is a critical humanitarian need for people living in bomb-blasted urban areas of Ukraine. This is partly explained by the extensive damage to civilian infrastructure affecting essential services such as electricity, heating and drinking water, and most notably the disruption to access to food and healthcare.

UN concerned at extent of destruction, suffering and hardship in East

According to OCHA, it is particularly worrying whether “the catastrophic conditions” currently prevailing in Kharkiv (Kharkivska Oblast), Mariupol and Sievierodonetsk (Lugansk Oblast), among others, will “repeat in other cities”. “Heavy fighting continues in Mariupol (Donetsk region) and there are serious concerns about the true extent of the destruction, suffering and hardship that are not yet known,” he said.

Eastern Ukraine continues to face the heaviest fighting, with Donetsk, Kharkivska and Luhansk Oblasts hardest hit. Several locations in Luhansk Oblast, including Hirsch, Kreminna, Popasna and Sievierodonetsk, were heavily shelled for several days.

This resulted in significant damage to civilian infrastructure and many civilian casualties. According to OCHA, essential electricity, water and gas infrastructure has been severely damaged or destroyed without restoring water, gas and electricity supplies while hostilities continue.

In general, the eastern and southern oblasts of Ukraine have been “the epicenter of hostilities” in recent days, leading to significant humanitarian needs. At the same time, attacks, including rocket attacks, continue to occur in other parts of the country and more recently in central Ukraine.

Leave a Comment