Afrin’s IDPs suffer water shortage in Syria’s Aleppo countryside

ALEPPO, Syria (North Press) – Afrin IDPs and residents of towns and villages in the northern countryside of Aleppo suffer from a lack of drinking water as a result of the drying up of some artesian wells, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stopped filling some of the reservoirs spread on the main roads in the area.

Malak Hussein, co-chair of the Municipalities and Local Administration Board of Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo, said that four wells recently dried up as a result of the lack of rainfall during the last winter.

The municipality currently relies on 19 wells to supply the original residents of the area and the displaced from Afrin with drinking water through special tanks, at a price of 50 Syrian pounds (SYP) per barrel.

However, Hussein stated that the number of wells is not enough to cover the needs of the entire region.

Since Turkey and Turkish-backed armed opposition groups took control of Afrin and after its invasion of north Syria in March 2018, cases of murder, kidnapping, illegal logging, and building settlements in Afrin continues, according to human rights reports.

Following the Turkish invasions on Afrin the AANES set up the al-Awdeh, Shahba, Sardam, Afrin, Barkhwadan.

Some of the displaced took refuge in camps, while others were distributed in 42 villages and towns in the area.

Hussein pointed out that UNICEF has stopped filling water tanks in 38 villages in the northern countryside of Aleppo and only securing water for camps and a number of villages, which has exacerbated the water crisis.

According to Hussein UNCIF stopped its support for supplying water to the area, due to the lack of funding, “according to what they told us.”

Issam Hussein, a displaced person from Afrin living in the village of Fafin, finds it difficult to secure water for his family. “I have a tank that can hold ten barrels. We need to refill it every three days, but sometimes we only get water once a week.”

Siham Hanan, a displaced woman from Afrin, complains that UNICEF has stopped filling the tanks, which she relied on for cleaning and other household needs, in addition to drinking.

She said: “We do not know what to do. What wrong have we done to be punished like that?

Reporting by Dijla Khalil