Yesterday, Sunday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Syria said that the disruption of the Alouk Water Station in Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), north of Hasakah, "could have a devastating effect on vulnerable communities throughout northern Syria."
In a statement issued on behalf of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria Imran Riza, and the United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syrian Crisis Kevin Kennedy, the UN office added that the Alouk plant is a very important source of clean water for nearly half a million people in northeastern Syria.
The statement pointed out that its disruption "may have a devastating impact on vulnerable communities throughout Syria. Families must be able to access water sufficiently and without interruption to protect themselves from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic."
The office also indicated the emergency measures it it has taken, in terms of delivering huge quantities of water to the city of Hasakah, Tal Tamr, and the camps of al-Hawl and al-Arisha in an emergency manner, while continuing to support the rehabilitation of the neighboring al-Hima water station.
However, the office said that these measures do not replace the essential needs of the area, and that "any future interruption of water will harm the safety of civilians."
On the 21st of March, the Turkish army cut off water to the Alouk station in the Sere Kaniye countryside, which feeds the city of Hasakah and the towns of Tal Tamr, al-Hawl, Abu Rasin, al-Shaddadi, and their villages with water.
On the 23rd of the same month, UNICEF condemned the water cut off from Alouk station by Turkey and considered that the interruption of water supplies, during the current efforts exerted to limit the spread of coronavirus, poses a great risk to children and families. "Hand-washing with soap is critical in combating COVID-19 disease."
Last Saturday night, the municipality of Tal Tamr, north of Hasakah, finished the maintenance of the main water line coming from the Alouk station after it was out of service due to Turkish shelling on Friday.
Moreover, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Syria expressed in its statement its concern about the interruption of basic services in Syria, especially the protective ones of community health against coronavirus.
The statement also called to "not politicize the humanitarian infrastructure and basic services in accordance with international humanitarian law."
Furthermore, the statement reiterated the Secretary-General's call for a full and immediate ceasefire, and cooperation in order to intensify efforts to confront the coronavirus outbreak in Syria.