Water cuts threaten 500,000 people in Aleppo

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Destruction in the ancient city of Aleppo, Syria, where UNICEF says some neighbourhoods have been without water for weeks. UNESCO File Photo

Half a million people in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, are struggling to receive enough water to survive despite efforts to restore supplies, the UN children's agency UNICEF said Wednesday.

In recent weeks, the taps have run dry in the northern city owing to fighting and frequent power cuts.

That's increased fears of water-borne disease and prompted the UN agency to boost deliveries of water and diarrhoea kits.

Daniel Johnson has more details.

The UN children's agency UNICEF says that it's trebled deliveries of water to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo to 2.5 million litres a day.

In addition to this trucking service, no less than 50 wells have been sunk to make up for life-threatening water shortages.

But it's still not enough, with an estimated 500,000 people in Aleppo struggling to get enough water to survive – all victims of the conflict's warring parties.

Here's UNICEF's Juliette Touma, speaking from Amman in Jordan:

"There are reports of deliberate cuts in fact of water to the city of Aleppo and that has affected more than one million people in the city, and you can imagine the impact that this has had, coupled with very high temperatures."

UNICEF says that some neighbourhoods have been without water for nearly three weeks amid a heatwave that’s seen temperatures soar to 42C.

That's increased fears of disease which for the time being has been limited to diarrhoea, although there are concerns about cholera reaching vulnerable communities.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’05″


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