Catastrophic water shortages for 500,000 in Mosul

December 1, 2016 | By | Reply More

Up to 500,000 civilians in Mosul are facing a “catastrophic” drinking water shortage, the UN warned, as Iraqi forces advance against the Islamic State group in the city.

water shortageAlready suffering from a severe lack of food and electricity, civilians in Iraq’s second city are now also running out of drinkable water, said Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq.

“Nearly half a million civilians, already struggling to feed themselves day to day, are now without access to clean drinking water. The impact on children, women and families will be catastrophic,” Grande said Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi troops and allied forces launched an offensive last month to retake Mosul, which was seized by IS more than two years ago.

Weeks of fighting have seen the Iraqi forces surround the city and break into its eastern neighbourhoods, where there have been heavy street-to-street battles with the jihadists.

But CTS commanders said heavy clouds covering the city could hamper aerial surveillance and slow down operations in the coming two days.

Residents in east Mosul say they have resorted to pumping water from wells.

– Disease warnings –

Abdelkarim al-Obeidi, the secretary general of the local civil society organisation Mosul People Gathering, warned of a “humanitarian disaster” in the making.

At a hospital in the village of Gogjali on the eastern outskirts of Mosul, a medical source said civilians were starting to arrive with “cases of diarrhoea and intestinal cramps, especially among children”.

Abu Ali, a resident of eastern Mosul, said he hoped running water would return before an outbreak of disease.

Some residents “will take water from the Tigris”, he said, referring to the river that divides the city.

While it was unclear what had caused the massive water shortage, some residents blamed the US-led coalition backing Iraqi forces in the assault, saying its warplanes had damaged the main pipeline bringing water from the western side of the city.

Residents said that many were also running out of food supplies and relying on aid distributed by Iraqi forces.

“Some people had stocks of dried goods but food is starting to run out, and we have neither water, nor electricity, nor fuel for heating,” said 54-year-old Natiq, who was receiving food aid at a distribution centre in the eastern neighbourhood of Khadraa.

And coalition air strikes have hampered IS’s ability to launch suicide attacks across the city, British Army Major General Rupert Jones, a deputy commander for the US-led coalition, said Wednesday.

Suicide missions, particularly those conducted in explosive-laden vehicles, have been a vital weapon for the jihadists.

Iraqi forces have told civilians to stay at home in order to avoid massive displacement from the city.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

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Category: Arab uprising

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