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Following Kakhovka Dam Flooding, Helpers Rush To Provide Clean Water To Ukrainians

This article is presented in partnership with Project HOPE.

Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian organization, working side-by-side with local health workers and communities to save lives and improve the health and well-being of people around the world.

Learn more about Project HOPE

A Ukrainian is handed a gallon of drinking water. Palettes of water are in the background.
This article is presented in partnership with Project HOPE

From the very beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, millions of Ukrainians have lost access to clean drinking water — especially those living near the front lines of the conflict.

Between attacks on water supply and sanitation facilities, power outages that led to water cuts, and increasing need for generators and water treatment systems, Ukrainians are in dire need of clean water.

To make matters worse, the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant and the Kakhovka Dam in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, were destroyed on June 6 of this year, leading to a life-threatening flood endangering the thousands of lives.

Floods caused 16,000 people to lose their homes, 80 settlements were impacted, and for those who have remained in the area, water contamination and scarcity put residents at risk of further impacts to human health and the environment.

As always, though, humanitarian helpers leapt to action. 

Two men unload water jugs from a truck
Delivery and distribution of water for the local population affected by military operations in Posad-Pokrovsk village, Kherson region. Photo courtesy of Nikita Hlazyrin for Project HOPE

Project HOPE, a global humanitarian and health organization, has had teams on the front lines of the conflict since the invasion, but with this devastating attack in Kherson Oblast, organizers have put even more energy into their water distribution efforts.

“Amidst the unfolding tragedy, acts of bravery and heroism emerged,” Project HOPE shared in an email to Good Good Good. “Communities rallied together, offering shelter, provisions, and a glimmer of hope to the weary evacuees who sought solace in unfamiliar lands.”

Project HOPE’s humanitarian teams have distributed necessities like water, hygiene products, power sources, and blankets — including 20,160 liters of much-needed drinking water to communities in the heart of the destruction. 

A man drives an orange forklift in front of a truck of over 10 palettes of water bottles
Project HOPE has already distributed over 20,000 liters of drinking water to those affected by the floods. Photo courtesy of Project HOPE

The organization — with the support of USAID — was already in the process of distributing over 2 million liters of drinking water (about 350,000 bottles) to Kherson residents following the liberation of the region. Prior to the flood, 79 trucks carrying 1.6 million liters of water were distributed. Of course, this crisis has restructured the response. 

In total, Project HOPE has already delivered 141,140 liters of drinking water specifically in response to the floods. These distributions of water are ongoing and will be specific to the communities of Oleksandrivka, Bilozerka, Snihurivka, Antonivka, and Mykolaiv and will reach over 11,000 folks in need.

“The extensive flooding caused by the Kakhovka Dam destruction has resulted in even greater humanitarian needs for communities that were already lacking access to basic needs like food, water, and medical care,” Project HOPE’s country director for Ukraine, Giorgio Trombatore, said in a statement.

A Ukrainian is handed a gallon of drinking water. Palettes of water are in the background.
Emergency water is distributed to Ukrainians in the Kherson region. Photo courtesy of Nikita Hlazyrin for Project HOPE

“While Project HOPE will continue to scale up our response to the affected areas to distribute supplies and to mitigate the health risks associated with water contamination, this disaster calls for a more robust and coordinated response from the international community.”

As immediate needs are met, Ukrainians are grateful for the relief — and Project HOPE workers are eager to provide continued support.

In addition to clean water, over 500 hygiene kits will be distributed to internally displaced people who are relocating to the city of Odesa, and Project HOPE is providing access to free psychological support from mental health specialists in the area. 

“We are very grateful to the volunteers and everyone involved that you did not forget about us,” Iryna, a community member from Posad-Pokorovske, said in a Project HOPE blog post. “Drinking water for us is worth its weight in gold.”

Article Details

June 22, 2023 6:30 AM
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