Ukraine is suffering severe damage to its civilian and energy infrastructure caused by hostilities. Most notably the country has experienced a wave of attacks throughout October 2022. This recent offensive on energy infrastructure threatens access to heating for all Ukrainians. Currently, according to the authorities, 30% of the energy infrastructure is severely damaged.
The East and South regions of Ukraine are the most targeted and affected by the hostilities as they are closest to the front line. Millions of people are facing the freezing Ukrainian winter without power.
This impacts on all aspects of Ukrainian daily life: home heating, lighting to allow children to do their homework, the ability to charge their devices, their access to information and their connection to the world. Electricity also powers the air alarm that allows people to seek shelter in case of an air raid. The blackouts affect cities as a whole, streets are dark at night, supermarkets and shops are out of service.
Karachunov dam is one of Eastern Ukraine’s critical hydro-technical infrastructure facilities. The dam retains water in the Karachunov reservoir. This reservoir is the main source of drinking water supply for Kryvyi Rih city, providing drinking water for more than 250,000 residents, land irrigation, industrial and domestic use, fisheries. It is also one of the most beautiful sights in the town.
On September 14th and 15th, 2022, nine rockets were fired at the critical infrastructure of the city. The dam was damaged below the surface level. The leakage reached 100 cubic meters of water per second, which is the volume of a truck semi-trailer per second. As a result, the water level in the river rose from 100 cm to 190 cm. In two districts, 112 residential houses were flooded and the water supply to all infrastructure was disrupted. Rescue and emergency services worked throughout the night to mitigate the consequences. The city authorities organized the evacuation of residents from several city districts. People were temporarily accommodated in the schools of Kryvyi Rih.
ACTED, with the financial support from the European Union, provided the Kryvyi Rih City Council with equipment to repair critical and civil infrastructure. ACTED provided 25,140 euro worth of diesel generators, chainsaws, concrete blocks and wood to help deal with the consequences of the attacks and contribute to the restoration of normal functioning of the city.
“Good deeds do not go unnoticed – they shine like beacons to those who are waiting for help. I am sure that your example is a good example for other charity organizations. By helping in this difficult time for all of us, you are not just giving material values, but you are giving hope that together we will overcome any challenges.” writes deputy Mayor of Kryvyi Rih, Serhii Milyutin in his gratitude letter.
Originally, this 24-month project sought to improve understanding, preparedness, and resilience to industrial, ecological, and conflict-related risks, as well as health response capacity in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in eastern Ukraine. Due to the large-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February, the focus was changed. The project partners have shifted from disaster risk reduction to capacity building in preparedness and civil protection. To this end, ACTED and its partners have conducted targeted research and produced a range of analytical and methodological documents that will be used to advocate for and improve coordinated emergency response. The action also strengthened capacity of regional authorities and stakeholders to develop risk mitigation plans and assist longer-term recovery. Mapping and stock-taking of bomb shelters have been conducted. A lot of the bomb shelters are in poor condition, some of them don’t have water supply and electricity. ACTED is providing materials for light renovations of dilapidated walls, floors and ceilings, for wiring and plumbing to ensure accessibility and inclusiveness of bomb shelters. In addition, ACTED and its partners have provided first aid and psychological assistance to the affected population.
Through the generous support of European Union, ACTED provided equipment, first aid and psychological first aid trainings to local authority civil protection units and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine to increase their capacity to respond to emergencies.