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10. WASH Cluster Alert Bulletin. 01 July - 31 August 2017. Issue 10


The WASH Cluster would like to highlight that centralized town heating systems may stop
due to lack of electricity to pump water in the closed insulated heating network that heats
most multi-storey buildings; lack of water to top up the system; or lack of fuel (either electricity
or gas) to heat the water initially. In the past, stopped heating networks could not
be restarted due to pipes freezing solid within individual buildings (Debaltseve, 2015)
and in such cases there is a high risk that people would need to evacuate.
GCA 298,000



For the 2-month period of July/August 2017, there was not only a decreased number incidents, compared
to May/June, but incidents were less likely to stop water supplies. However many long-term issues
are still unresolved and some urgent repairs actions are now needed before the winter.
The total number of incidents during the
summer period May/June 2017 was much higher
than the number of incidents in June/August (27
vs 15). In June and July there were the same
number of incidents, (12 each) but whereas
there were more than 6 million people days of
actual stoppages in June, with 400,000 people
affected for more than a week, this figure fell to
around half a million in June: incidents were less
disruptive .

The apparent drop of incidents in August
(only 3) reflects the agreement reached in Minsk
on 19th July to avoid damage to Donetsk Filter
Station and the 1st Lift Pumping Station of the South Donbass Water pipeline (SDWP) and that there
seemed to be less shelling ni general near water infrastructure. However this does not fully reflect reality:
while the number of incidents decreased, serious strategic damage was not repaired. For example, Voda
Donbassa, has no access to repair one branch of the SDWP near the first lift pumping station (near Avdiivka)
since February 2017. As a result, around 400,000 people are constantly at risk of water cut off in
Volnavakha, Pokrovsk Dokuchaievsk, Krasnihorlivka and Mariinka. Mariupol also relies on Starokrimska reservoir
as a result. Meanwhile the Karbonit system has also had repeated problems with pipelines breaking,
and decreasing incidents overall does not mean thee is any significant progress in solving urgent issues in
terms of winterization.
Workers at critical social infrastructure continue to putting their own health and lives at risk, to deliver
clean water by operating and repairing water networks. On 27th July an armed combatant threated staff of
Voda Donbasa at the Donetsk Filter Station. Staff only saw one person, who opened fire in the air, after
which staff locked themselves inside water treatment buildings. Staff heard knocking at the door and more
shooting. Fortunately, that person was apprehended eventually and no one was injured.


The main clean water pipeline to Toretsk city, from Horlivka, crosses the Line of Contact, and it was badly
damaged by shelling in November 2016. After temporary repairs water availability was still a problem
with people receiving water once per day or less. Clean water finally reached the 70,000 inhabiltants, via
the 15km pipeline, on Friday, 25th August, thanks to a three-days Window of Silence. Voda Donbasa completed
repairs at 7 locations. As a secondary and critical outcome, the increased availability of clean water
now means that Toretsk city heating system should be able to function during the cold winter months
ahead (the average night-time temperature in this area in January is -9C with some much colder nights)
assuming no further damage occurs.
Currently people receive water at least 2 times per day for several hours, whereas previously they only
received water once per day for 1 hour or did not receive it at all. Humanitarian aid from People in need
(water trucking) and UNICEF (bottled water distribution) had helped cover partially needs.
Sadly, already people living near the LoC have already reported new leakages on the pipeline: one location
on each side of the loC. Leakage has fallen from around 60% to around 40%, but the increased pressure
is now forcing new leaks. All stakeholders are requested to support Voda Donbasa’s request for a window
of silence to make final repairs.

United Nations Children's Fund
Original Publication Date: 
04 Sep 2017
Document type: 
Analysis Report