KYIV, 31 January 2017 – The Humanitarian Community and the Humanitarian Coordinator are gravely concerned by the drastic deterioration of the security situation in eastern Ukraine and its humanitarian consequences.
Of particular concern is the impact on the civilian population on both sides of the ‘contact line’. Casualties continue to be recorded. Sustained targeting of and damages to civilian infrastructure adds to the already difficult conditions, exacerbated by the harsh winter, and may have irrevocable consequences. The Government of Ukraine is doing its outmost to provide support and to coordinate humanitarian efforts.
Due to the shelling, the Donetsk Filter Station (DFS) stopped working on 30 January leaving some 15,000 to 17,000 people in Avdiivka without water, and potentially affecting up to 400,000 people served by the facility. The power supply of Avdiivka was already cut on 29 January, affecting the supply of water from the backup reservoir, without which the city’s heating system cannot operate. Moreover, on 30 January the fourth power line to the Avdiivka coke plant was damaged by shelling, leaving it without power, and further impacting on the supply of hot water. Urgent repairs are needed to restart the heating system. With temperatures falling well below -10 degrees Celsius, should the heating system stop working it will freeze and will require weeks to restart. Although the authorities have found a temporary solution to keep the water circulating, this is not sustainable. Electrical repair teams are standing by, but continued shelling is preventing repairs.
Water supply has also been disrupted or rationed in parts of Donetsk city and surroundings, including Yasynuvata, Verhnotoretske, Vasylivka and Spartak. In Donetsk city water is being redistributed from Verkhniokalmiuska Filter station, and other cities are surviving by using local water reservoirs designed to provide 24 hours of storage. In villages such as Vasylivka, Spartak, Verkhnotoretske and Kruta Balka water delivery has stopped altogether, and in part of Yasynuvata water is now cut.
“An immediate cessation of hostilities is urgently needed to prevent further loss of lives and to enable repair teams to urgently restore critical basic services to hundreds of thousands of affected civilians living in -10 below zero temperature,” - the Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Neal Walker says.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.