Water crisis in northern Syria reached critical levels: MSF

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – On Tuesday, Doctors Without Borders Organization (MSF) warned that the limited access to clean water in northern Syria during the past few months has reached dangerous levels.

Three million Syrian people, the majority of whom are displaced, suffer from a water shortage crisis due to the destruction of the water and sanitation infrastructure, according to the MSF.

“When water is available and accessible to people in northwest Syria, it is sometimes unsafe and polluted,” said Ibrahim Mughlaj, MSF Health Promotion Officer in northwest Syria.

“Contaminated water often brings waterborne diseases and other health problems to the camps, such as diarrhea, hepatitis, impetigo, scabies and many other diseases,” he added.

He believed that “the limited access to water also seriously impedes basic hygiene measures to prevent and treat coronavirus.”

The official revealed that funding for the activities of providing water, sanitation and hygiene services has currently decreased to “less than a third of what was spent in 2020 on the same activities.”

Meanwhile, a primary health care center supported by MSF in Raqqa said that the number of diarrhea cases last May was 50% higher than it was in May 2020.

According to the organization, one million people in Hasakah have faced difficulty accessing water for nearly two years, due to frequent and continuous interruptions in the provision of water from the Allouk water station, which is under the control of the Turkish authorities.

In addition, the population of northeastern Syria is affected by the sharp decrease in the water flowing into the Euphrates River, the most important source of water in the region.

Yesterday on Monday, the activities of the International Water Forum in North and East Syria started under the auspices of the Local Administration and Environment Board in the Jazira region, with the participation of Rojava University and the Euphrates Center for Studies.

The forum aims to shed light on international charters, laws and agreements on water and the risks and challenges related to the issue of water security.