In response to the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam, we delivered 433,000 litres of drinking water, pumps, and water storage tanksPublished: Jul 4, 2023 Reading time: 2 minutes
The war in Ukraine continues to have devastating consequences for all Ukrainians; Russia's aggression has caused a profound loss of lives, displaced civilians, and is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The recent destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam has further compounded the hardships of the people living in the areas affected. The destruction is profoundly affecting people psychologically, economically, and socially. Several villages were inundated by the flood waters, which engulfed homes, damaged infrastructure and submerged vital agricultural land. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people now lack access to clean, safe drinking water.
Marhanets, a city in southern Ukraine, suffers from shelling by the Russian army, which occupies the opposite bank of the Dnipro River. Out of 30-35,000 inhabitants, 12,500 are pensioners. Following Russia's destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam, the people of Marhanets must now endure a lack of drinking water.
"On the 7th of June, at 12:30pm, we were stopped completely due to a critical drop in the water level of the Kakhovka reservoir. Now the city has no centralised water supply," says Valentyn Odanov, Director of Marhanets Water Utility Company, adding that the company immediately established 28 water distribution points. "We really need water because I have two children. We need to do laundry, cook, and wash. It is very difficult for people," says Viktoriia, a social worker in Marhanets.
In the days immediately following the dam's destruction, we delivered 14,400 litres of drinking water and 5 water-storage tanks—to allow storage of another 25,000 litres of water—to Marhanets to alleviate the water crisis. "People help me with water; I make reserves. Good people told me to stock up. I took some from the bathroom. Everything is fine so far; we have water, and we are not dying," says Kateryna Plakhotnik, a resident of Marhanets.
Support to evacuations
Together with our local partners, we continue to support those impacted by the war and the newly added ecological disaster. "Since the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam, we have provided 433,835 litres of drinking water to those in need. In addition, we have distributed 15 water tanks with a capacity of 5,000 litres, pumps, and chemical water purification products. In the coming months, depending on the needs on the ground and our capabilities, we plan to start building wells and repairing water supply systems in the affected area," says Jana Bok Toužimská, Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Partnership and Balkans.
The water is delivered in 6-litre bottles or by tanker truck. To restore access in the medium-term, procurement for 200 pumps is ongoing. These pumps will be delivered to settlements in Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts.
Our response would be impossible without the generous support of the European Union.