Providing access to drinking water in eastern Ukraine

Providing access to drinking water in eastern Ukraine

Mar 22, 2021

Of the 5.4 million people living in conflict-affected parts of eastern Ukraine, 1.73 million – or one in every four people – need assistance to access adequate drinking water supplies. The theme for 2021 #WorldWaterDay is “Valuing Water,” and this is exactly what people living close to the contact line have done for years.

People like Nadiia and Ivan, from Travneve. The water supply to their village was interrupted due to the armed conflict, forcing them to live without a centralized water supply for years. To survive, they learned how to melt snow and collect rainwater for washing, cleaning, and to keep their chickens hydrated.

Every week People In Need delivers water to Travneve and other settlements along the contact line in Donbas to ensure that people have enough drinking water for their daily needs.

These water deliveries also go to Opytne, another settlement on the frontline. While most of the 670 residents there have left the village because of active fighting in the area – which damaged the community’s infrastructure beyond repair – Maria, Elena, and 36 others remain.

“I want to stay in my own apartment, sleep in my bad, eat from my plates; I don’t want to leave my home,” says Maria, whose children left Opytne many years ago. They share their experience of life without water, electricity, and gas for almost 7 years.

People In Need delivers drinking water to Opytne’s residents twice per month with financial support from European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO).

Author: Alyona Budagovska, PIN Ukraine Communications Manager