New hope for Ukrainian village that endured days without water
The war in Ukraine has caused a multitude of humanitarian problems, one of which is a lack of clean water for families and children
For five days, Nataliya Sergieva and her three children struggled without water, as the explosions and attacks raged in Eskhar, Ukraine.
"When there is no central water supply, everyday life becomes very difficult,” says Natalia, who has already fled the war once with her family in 2014. “We have to save water and, when it runs out, it takes a lot of time to get it from the well to the apartment.”
Eskhar is an urban village in the Kharkivska region, located just 60 kilometres from the border. Since the full-scale war broke out in February 2022, fighting has frequently damaged critical infrastructure, cutting families off from water and electricity supplies.
"More than five thousand people live in the village, including more than a thousand children. It is simply impossible to deliver water for consumption every day.”
Nataliya and her family always keep a three-day supply of water in buckets and bottles. But even with a functioning water supply, the fighting has caused foundational slabs to shift and water quality has deteriorated significantly.
“Fluoride, ammonium nitrogen, phosphates and hardness are too high. All these indicators have a bad impact on the health of our population. Children and the elderly are particularly affected. Children suffer decay and loose teeth.”
Now, a new post-treatment station where water will pass through more than ten filters before being supplied to the population is being developed with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and with the support of the European Union.
Since the escalation of the fighting in 2022, UNICEF has been able to provide access to safe water for 4,649,974 people, including almost one million children. Moreover, as a part of an integrated response in close collaboration with national and local authorities and humanitarian actors 1,559,304 people were reached with critical hygiene and sanitary supplies.