Main Water Station in Maarat al-Nu’man Out of Service
The main water refilling station in Maarat al-Numan, Idlib Countryside, was being hit by shelling on Friday (July 7), which rendered it out of service. The station is to remain thus till inspection of damages and maintenance are conducted.
Hisham Dairani, director of Binaa Organization for Development, a nonprofit organization, reported to Enab Baladi that the station used to provide the residents of Maarat al- Numan, a population of 80,000 to 90,000 persons, with water, but now they have no choice other than water tank trucks which escape health surveillance.
“Binaa”, which carried out the maintenance work and the station’s equipping process at the end of 2018, is inspecting the physical damages caused by the bombing. According to Dairani’s estimates, the station may take months of maintenance work.
Thirst for Safety and Water
The military campaign, launched at the beginning of February 2019 by the Syrian regime along with its Russian ally, continues in Idlib and Hama countryside by targeting vital centers and facilities, which caused a new wave of displacement of more than half a million persons, amidst lacking secure shelters.
From 24 June to 1 July, Idlib alone was hit 26 times by warplanes, 11 times by helicopters and 19 by artillery strikes, according to the statistics of the Response Coordination Group (RC).
The engineer Hisham Dairani said that the bombardment of the water station was deliberate, targeting directly the water pump room, even though the station is 20 kilometers away from Idlib, adding that 20 water pumps were constructed at different locations and all had been partially destroyed. However, the sustained aerial bombardment in the region is preventing the organization’s team from getting into the station and making the water pumps operate correctly.
Al-Maraa has a supplemental water station, providing only 15 to 20 percent of the area’s residents with the water they need. Thus, the main task is to find a donor that would fund the maintenance work in order to meet the needs of the remaining population.
Al-Maraa’s residents’ reliance on the unmonitored water storage tanks decreased by 20%, as a result of the rising financial cost of water tanks, which is two or three times the cost of water pumped by the station, not to mention the health hazards of the unmonitored water tanks such as typhoid, measles and diarrhea.
The rehabilitation and operation of the water station was funded by the United Nation Children’s Funds (UNICEF) along with the United Nations Humanitarian Trust Fund (Central Emergency Response Fund) and implemented by Bina organization for Development in 2017- 2018.
According to the United Nations statistical data, 70 percent of the Syrian population is without regular access to safe potable water due to water interruptions and the destruction of basic infrastructure, stressing that about 15.5 million people in Syria are in need for water sources and sanitation, 6.2 million of whom are in desperate need.
As a part of 2019 plan, the UN has set aside 277.2 million dollars for delivering clean water and sanitation projects in Syria, but the UN did not receive the full funding pledged by donor countries, at the Third Brussels Donor Conference, held on March 2019. The funding has not reached the necessary sum, for the UN was only granted 7 seven billion dollars out of the 9 billion it requested to respond to the humanitarian situation in Syria.
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