Bringing clean water to vulnerable communities in Hasakah
Upscaling cholera response in affected locations
“Cholera is knocking on the door. We are not sure if the water we buy is clean and our concerns of it being infected are increasing. But what can we do? We have no option but to drink the water that is available to us,” said Nada Alhasan, a 22-year-old mother of three in Maishiyah neighbourhood, Hasakah city, northeast Syria.
In Syria, nearly half of the people rely on alternative and often unsafe water sources to meet or complement their water needs. Poor water quality tends to lead to more waterborne diseases, including diarrhoea, particularly among children.
“We are very concerned when we have to buy water from random water tanks and trucks. We don’t know how safe the water is or if the tank has been filled up with water from a clean source,” explained Said Sabti Ali Muhamid.
In the past weeks, thousands of cases of acute watery diarrhoea have been reported across Syria. Majority of the cases are currently concentrated in the four northern governorates: Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor. With the impact of the ongoing economic crisis and the large-scale destruction of the water and sanitation infrastructure resulting from more than a decade of conflict, there is a risk the outbreak will spread rapidly in other governorates.
To keep children safe, UNICEF continues to invest in preventive measures and scale up a rapid response to curb the spread of the disease and limit its negative impacts. Chlorination activities to disinfect water are being scaled up and dosing rates are being increased in fragile and highly vulnerable communities. Clean water is also being trucked to affected locations.
”Clean water is the most important thing for us. It protects us from diseases and illnesses.”
”Clean water is the most important thing for us. It protects us from diseases and illnesses,” said Fatima Muhammad Ali while collecting water from a truck, provided by UNICEF and partners.
“Water is so important for us for so many reasons. Together with bread, it comes first,” pitched in 60-year-old Fatima Aldakheel. “It is very satisfying to see our children go to school with clean clothes and to be able to keep the home clean and everything washed,” she added.
“I would like to thank the organizations providing us clean and chlorinated water. It can save lives,” noted Said Sabti Ali Muhamid.
In Hasakah city and its surroundings as well as the shelters in the camps for internally displaced, UNICEF and partners continue to supply safe and clean water.
UNICEF urgently needs additional funding for an emergency cholera response in the areas of health, water, hygiene, sanitation, and social and behaviour change to curb the spread of the outbreak and prevent loss of life, leaving no child behind.