The war in Syria has caused more than structural damage and dead bodies; it has also caused major Drinking water problems for the citizens. The cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey has reduced but not halted all the violence across the country, and it has not resolved the water crisis.
Most of the water for the capital, controlled by the Government of President Bashar al-Assad, has always come from the Barada Valley north of the city, but now that region is controlled by rebels who want Assad out.
Water stopped flowing on 22 December, 2016 and accusations have been made by both sides, accusing the other of damaging infrastructure near the spring. Government officials initially accused rebels of polluting the water, then of damaging the infrastructure. Anti-government activists on the other hand posted photos online, supposedly showing structures around the spring that, according to them, were damaged by exploding barrels dropped from government helicopters.
Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the United Nations humanitarian office in Geneva, says that the water infrastructure was definitely deliberately targeted but does not know which side did it as they have not been able to access the area to inspect due to the ongoing fighting.
Unfortunately, this has left approximately 5.5 million people in Damascus and vicinity, including children, without access to drinking water, which has put them all at the risk of waterborne disease. The Syrian government is trucking water from wells around the city in an attempt to ease the crisis, and the United Nations has so far managed to rehabilitate 120 wells to cover about one-third of the city’s daily needs
Unfortunately many residents are still without access to water and where some of the men could at least go to the mosque every day to wash their hands, feet and faces, women and children do not have this option. Some residents have been forced to pay astronomical prices for water from men with private tankers just to survive.
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