16 September 2014
Over 2 million affected by water shortage in Aleppo, Syria
MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Rendon, 202.470.5182, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fewer mortar shells and barrel bombs are falling on Aleppo, Syria, but the city’s residents now face a different kind of threat: water shortage. Supplies of potable water have been completely cut off, threatening humanitarian disaster. SOS Children's Villages - Syria has responded by reviving old wells to bring safe water to residents.
According to a source at the Aleppo Water Department, more than two million people have been affected by the water shortage after three out of four of the city's pumping stations were shut down. Water has stopped flowing not only into government-held areas, but into practically every corner of Syria’s largest city.
"The water shortage has turned a vital resource into a hot trading item in a city where the price of 20 cubic meters of water has risen to 20,000 SP or about $130 USD," said Rasha Muhrez, Country Director of SOS Children's Villages - Syria. "Some people have desperately tried to dig wells themselves."
In Aleppo, SOS Children’s Villages had two old wells in buildings that served as youth houses before the civil war erupted. In response to the water shortage, the SOS Children’s Villages team in Aleppo redug these wells and revived them to begin distributing water to people in need. The water was tested by a lab to ensure that it was potable.
“Children and families in Aleppo are in desperate need of clean drinking water. These are communities who have lived under a constant threat of violence and conflict, and are now being deprived of one of life’s basic necessities,” said Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA. “We are deeply concerned for their well-being and health, and are doing everything we can to support them.”
The areas where the wells are located host some 5,000 families of which 2,500 are displaced. More than 75% of the people living there are children. To help more people in affected areas SOS Children’s Villages has engaged a driver with a pick-up truck to ensure that sick and elderly people who are unable to carry water containers can have safe drinking water delivered. The SOS Children's Villages team in Aleppo is currently distributing 18,000-20,000 liters of potable water daily to people in need.