Repeated damages of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, frequent interruptions of water supply, lack of access to drinking water, poor water testing – these are realities faced by people living in the armed conflict areas in Eastern Ukraine. The importance of increasing water safety is more crucial even now- in the challenging times of the quick spread of a life-threatening coronavirus, against which hygiene and sanitation measures which require water are key.
ACTED in Ukraine works on reducing vulnerability to disaster risk in Eastern Ukraine through improving understanding of hazards,increasing water safety and improving coordination on Disaster Risk Management amongst aid actors and local authorities. After identification of major water risks, ACTED will reduce their impact on people’s lives through developing Water Safety Plans.
Despite that water is a human right,access to this life-saving recourse has been under threat and – in some cases –actually deniedfor the residents of conflict-affected areas in Eastern Ukraine. To improve this situation, ACTED initiated a project aimed at increasing water safety in 2019.
In the framework of the project, ACTED is conducting Water Risks Assessments in 30 settlements located close to the contact line in Eastern Ukraine, where the great majority of conflict-related incidents (shelling, heavy artillery fire, etc.) take place. These assessments look at the risks posed to residents by what may be insufficient quantity and quality of water available in these settlements.
Conducting assessments enables us to identify and evaluate risks that can have a major impact on people's lives and the nature. For example, the poor condition of sewage treatment plants, which may cease to operate, will result in contaminated water entering the sea, which could have a negative impact not only on the region but also on the global scale.
Building on the results of the Water Risk Assessments, ACTED will select 5 settlements with the highest needs and work with them on developing Water Safety Plans. These plans will identify measures that can mitigate the risks identified, and the resources to put them in place. Once finalized, they will be handed over to the local communities and ACTED will contribute to their implementation with targeted material support.
I have been working in water filtering station for more than 40 years. Our system of water supply is in very bad condition, because we don’t have sufficient funds for renovation. Since the beginning of the conflict, it’s become even more complicated to work because of the shelling. My colleagues have had to work during the fighting, as the part of our station is approximately 1km from the Contact Line.
This project is implemented with support from the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)