WASH project to benefit over 400,000 people
UNICEF-supported intervention can save lives in rural Aleppo
Almost 10 years of conflict have taken a toll on water infrastructure in rural Aleppo, decreasing the availability of water by 80 per cent from its pre-conflict levels and leaving households and schools with limited or nonexistent access to running water. This has in turn forced families to rely on expensive water trucking to secure their daily needs, or on unsafe water sources, causing frequent bouts of water-borne diseases among children and their families.
To support over 400,000 people in Safira district in southeastern rural Aleppo, including families who have returned following a respite in violence after years on the move, and thanks to generous support from Germany, UNICEF is installing five high water reservoirs and two underground reservoirs in the area with a total capacity of 1.5 million litres.
“Installing these reservoirs will have a lifesaving impact on thousands of people,” says Maher Ghafari, UNICEF Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) officer in Aleppo.
Once completed in six-months’ time, the UNICEF-supported project will raise the water per capita share from 15 to 75 litres per person per day. It will also improve the living environment and mitigate the risks of public health in the community, further encouraging people to return to their homes. This will also help families save the high cost of water trucking and spend it on other essential needs.
“More than 65% of the population in Safira depends on water trucking and unsafe water sources, threatening the health of children especially, who also carry the brunt of fetching water for their families,” explains Maher. “Children should be in school, learning and playing, instead of queuing in lines to collect water under extreme weather conditions; they have the right to access safe and clean water every day,”.