Eastern Ukraine: “We can’t let them die of thirst”

Daily incidents across the frontline are still causing damage to civilian infrastructures such as housing, electricity supply, schools, and health facilities. It also results in limited access to water, which is more important than ever amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to EU humanitarian funding, the Czech NGO ‘People in Need (PiN)’ continues working tirelessly to provide people living close to the front line with much-needed water despite the challenging conditions.

Dmitriy is one of them. Before, he worked for a local water utility company in Sloviansk, a town in eastern Ukraine. When the conflict began, he wondered how he could support people who had lost their access to water. He decided to start working as a humanitarian worker and joined People in Need in Ukraine in 2018 as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene engineer.

Dmitriy lives in Sloviansk, an area affected by the conflict, and knows the issues people are facing very well. “The water supply system is often damaged due to the fighting and needs rehabilitation. In some villages, there is no centralized water supply and people rely only on the wells and drinking water delivered by PiN,” he describes the situation.

As his colleagues say, they have no choice: “People need water, and we deliver it. We can’t let them die of thirst.”

New challenges amidst coronavirus

After the coronavirus pandemic reached Ukraine in March 2020, preventive and protective measures had to be put in place to continue delivering humanitarian aid safely. Dmitriy said: “Field trips were limited and we now have new regulations in place regarding how to work during this period. But I quickly adapted to the rules, and I’m continuing my work with passion.”

Thanks to dedicated humanitarian workers like Dmitriy, humanitarian assistance continues to reach the people affected by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine amidst the coronavirus pandemic without interruption.