Polish Humanitarian Organization programs update in Grozny Dec 2002

On December 26, the first convoy with humnitarian assistance for besieged Sarajevo left Poland ten years ago. Ever since we try that those, who suffered from wars and cataclysms, who lost their hope and relatives believe that "There is someone who will come foreward..."
Polish Humanitarian Organisation is a non-governmental, free of discrimination and equal chance organisation established on December 26, 1992 in Poland. As the humanitarian organisation, PHO acts internationally and within the country to provide assistance to people affected by poverty, cataclysms or extraordinary situations to reduce poverty and vulnerability. PHO realises its missions by helping vulnerable communities in crises to regain responsibility for their own future and become self-reliant.

PHO shapes humanitarian attitudes among the public and creates modern culture of assistance combining effectiveness with the respect for human dignity and culture. Our Mission is to create the world - a better place through alleviation of human suffering and promotion of humanitarian values.

Since February 2000 PHO Permanent Mission has been operating in Chechnya and Ingushetia, with the head office in Nazran, Ingushetia.

The main aim of the mission is to help the victims of armed conflict in Chechnya.


December was the coldest month since the last few years. The lowest temperatures reached -27=B0C. Such low temperatures caused failures of water system operation and there where several breakdowns of pipelines in Grozny. For over a week the only operating Water Pump Station providing water to the city was WNS1 Station, where PHO, IRC and ICRC have their base. Private and local administration's water trucks queued for over 40 minutes to fill in.

As the PHO has separate Pumps Station, the failure of city water system did not affected distribution schedule and PHO provided water to its beneficiaries on time. PHO failed to obtaine travel permissions to Chechnya. Therefore, the expatriate staff did not visit Grozny in December.

December 9 -18, PHO Chechen Programme Coordinators from Grozny took part in the ceremonies of the PHO 10th anniversary in Warsaw, Poland. Additionally, they were monitoring water and sanitation facilities in two main Polish cities: Warszawa and Krakow.

On December 27, expatriate staff was invited to Vladikavkaz, North Osetia by Polish Community for Christmas concert. The members of the Polish Community are second and third generations of Poles who had been sent to exile.

December was the month of religious holidays: Muslim - Ramadan and Roman Catholic - Christmas. On Christmas, December 24 three expatriate personnel were on duty. Nevertheless, there was a traditional Christmas Supper with traditional, Polish dishes, Christmas tree and carols.


The general situation in Republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya deteriorated since November, therefore all visits of donors and governments' officials were cancelled.

Moreover two international organisations' premises were robbed in Nazran, Ingushetia. On December 27, there was a bomb attack on state government buildings in Grozny. Many people were killed. The explosion was so strong that glass in windows were broken in the buildings situated over 1,5 km away. The centre of the city was closed. The attack complicates the situation of ordinary people in Chechnya. Local people, afraid of repercussions leave Grozny.


On December 4, PHO and Comite Catholique contre la Faim et pour le Developpement signed the agreement that PHO will build 13 new latrines in Grozny in 2003.

On December 5 and 18, in Nazran, Ingushetia there were two main meeting with Ingush and Chechen authorities and representation of all NGOs, UN agencies and ICRC present in North Caucasus. Both meetings are good sign for the future cooperation and will help to understand better the humanitarian mission of all NGOs present in North Caucasus.

In December as a in kind support for PHO programmes in Grozny we have received from UNHCR over 730 running meters of plastic cover for bladders' winterisation and window protection of people that were affected in explosions at Khankalska str.

Water programme in Grozny:

The preparation for the annual water and sanitation monitoring is at final stage. The monitoring will be carried out in the mid of January 2003 in Grozny and its main goal is to compare improvements of water and sanitation situation in Grozny since the last year monitoring. We have decided to help people from TACs by employing them as monitors. This way we gave the employment to 7 people in very difficult life situation. We will monitor over 200 localizations in Grozny where water is needed.

To facilitate the implementation of the WFP school-feeding project and raise the effectiveness of water distribution, PHO relocated or installed following new Water Distribution Points:

  • School #14 and Maternity Hospital #1 - exchanged 1,5 m3 bladder for 5 m3.

  • Old bladders were relocated into School # 91, Batumskaya str (Dec 4, 2002) and CARITAS kindergarten #21 "Malysh", Tobolskaya str.5 (Dec 12, 2002)

  • Another 1.5 m3 bladders were installed in School #18, Pitomnika str. 5 (Dec 24, 2002) and School #47, Vierchoyanskaya str 6 (Dec 2, 2002)

In December, PHO operated in 139 Water Distribution Points with total capacity of 835 m3 and distributed 7513.25 m3 of free of charge, potable water (300.53 m3daily).

On December 29, School #7, rehabilitated by PINF situated in the centre of Grozny was in fire and partly burnt. PHO water trucks of SSMP Water Station took active part in supporting fire brigades with water.

The program is being implemented in collaboration with UNICEF (financing, treatment units, water bladders), ECHO (Humanitarian Aid Office) (financing), UNHCR (water trucks, water bladders), ICRC (pumps, generators, storage tankers, water bladders, hoses), SES Grozny, Vodokanal Grozny.

Sanitation Program in Grozny

1. Garbage removal

PHO is disposing garbage from 98 garbage containers (1m3 each) dislocated in 30 places in Grozny with focus on medical sector (23 addresses). Most of the containers are being emptied on a twice-a-week basis. After being collected - garbage is disposed at a communal dump in the Stara Sunza district (northern-east part of Grozny).

The hospitals are also being supplied with garbage cans, garbage bags, brooms and buckets as well as the basic cleaners. Total garbage removal in December was 828 cubic meters, 37.64 m3daily.

2. Sewage removal

The sewage truck has been operating since the beginning of April both in public and private sector. Since October it additionally started emptying the PHO-built latrines. Total sewage removal in December was 264.4 cubic meters, 12.02 m3daily.

3. Medical waste incinerators

In September PHO has started incinerators program and currently 10 PHO-constructed incinerators operate in 9 hospitals.

Another 5 incinerators will be constructed over the following months. PHO has assesed new localizations to fix hospitals that are in most urgent medical-waste situation.

PHO with cooperation with SES conducted a two months supervision of incinerators' operation by the means of a control form which was filled-in by SES employees and returned to PHO for evaluation purposes.

The Sanitation Program is financed by UNICEF, ECHO and WHO (new incinerators) and supported by UNHCR (garbage truck).