Humanitarian organisations provide sanitation at checkpoints in Eastern Ukraine

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Marinka/Kurakove, Ukraine, February 10th, 2016 – Acceptance International in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has successfully launched the project “Sanitation without Landmines & Explosive Remnants of War” in Eastern Ukraine. The first batch of seven toilet units (each with a separate male and female toilet) is now functional at the Marinka checkpoint in Donetsk oblast.

Due to the temporary closure of the checkpoint at Zaitsevo on the 3rd of February 2016, the daily number reaches 7,000 people crossing Marinka checkpoint. This number is expected to increase significantly over the next days and weeks.

“UNICEF is concerned about the situation at the checkpoints. Children, women and elderly are queueing for hours in the cold in order to access medicines and food. Long queues at the checkpoints often force people to sleep there overnight,” stated Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

UNICEF with partners, including Acceptance International, is stepping up to improve this situation by providing extra sanitation facilities,” she added.

Anna (51), accounting manager, frequently crossing the Marinka checkpoint, said: “Sometimes we have to stay overnight at the checkpoints and it's really scary and dangerous to go into the fields. I hope we'll have more latrines."

"We are very happy with the feedback we get from the local people approaching the Marinka checkpoint. The new toilets, installed by us a week ago, are a great improvement of the current situation. This is about safety, hygiene and also about privacy", said Ryan Hall, Safety and Security Advisor for Acceptance International.

Sergiy (42), self-employed from Kramatorsk visiting relatives in the non-government-controlled area, added: "It's good that now we can go to the toilet safely. It's was a disaster, especially for women.”

Acceptance International keeps monitoring the situation near the checkpoints in eastern Ukraine and plans to install more sanitation facilities, starting with the checkpoint in Pyshchevyk around 30 kilometres Northeast of Mariupol in the upcoming weeks.

The checkpoints are a result of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and have been established in order to control the movement of vehicles and people crossing the contact line. In some areas, there are considerable waiting lines of vehicles and people. On average, the clearance process for people to cross lasts for around five hours.

The lands around the checkpoints have been the scene of shelling and other armed conflict. According to media reports, at least 261 people have been killed by landmines in Ukraine between June 2014 and December 2015 according to estimates Another 479 have been wounded in the same period. These estimates include all victims - military and civilian, adult and children.

About Acceptance International

Acceptance International (AI) is a non-governmental organization that provides support to Humanitarian Organisations that are programming in challenging and hostile environments. Acceptance International supports the Humanitarian Community to program safely in today’s complex Humanitarian space. We aim to use the Acceptance approach to NGO Safety and Security Management as a primary means to provide practical Security support in the field. We recognise that an integral aspect of establishing and building Acceptance is an effective implementation of Humanitarian Programs.

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UNICEF promotes the rights and well being of every child, in everything they do. Together with their partners, they work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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For further information, please contact:

Ryan Hall, Acceptance International, Kyiv Region
Email: (ENG)
Phone: +38 050 7484120

Olga Vysotskaya, Acceptance International, Donetsk Region

Email: (UKR)
Phone: +38 095 5861977

Ivan Shtukarin, Acceptance International, Donetsk Region
Email: (RUS)
Phone: +38 099 0769996

Veronika Vashchenko, UNICEF Ukraine