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11. WASH Cluster Alert Bulletin. 01 September - 31 October 2017. Issue 11

WASH Cluster Ukraine Alert Bulletin. Issue 11

INCIDENTS ANALYSIS: SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2017

During the so-called "Harvest" and "School" ceasefires there seemed to be less shelling in the Eastern
Conflict Area of Ukraine and a similar reduction of shelling of, and other incidents affecting water
infrastructure. After a very quiet August, the WASH Cluster recorded six incidents in September and
eight in October: for example Donetsk Filter Station (DFS) was shelled, directly, once in October, the 1st
lift pumping station of South Donbas Water Pipeline (SDWP) once in September and twice in October.
Water and wastewater facilities near Dokuchaievsk (Donetsk NGCA) were shelled once each month.
WASH Cluster also recorded shelling eight times near pumping stations in September and three in October,
which resulted in the stopping of smaller pumping stations for a total of 40 days. Stoppages to
the public were minimized: only 46,464 people-days in September and 130,004 people-days in October
(see the chart below).
However, in spite of recent lower figures, in the first two weeks of November there were at least nine critical incidents and in fact the trend has
increased every month since August. DFS was shelled three times, and shot at with small arms; a pumping station came under heavy machine-gun fire;
Verkhniokalmiuska filter station was shelled; and Dokuchaievsk Waste water treatment plant was cut
from electricity. The Pumping Station in Petrovsky (Luhansk GCA) was cut from electricity which initially
cut 150,000 people from piped water in Luhansk NGCA, as well as Petrivka and Nyzhneteple villages
in Government Controlled Areas (GCA). Luhanskvoda (the main water supply company in Luhansk
NGCA) was able to restart water suppling to almost all settlements in NGCA areas, except the village of
Pryvitne (300 inhabitants), however water provided is of lesser quality.

CHLORINE LEAKAGE RISK
Increased fighting in the beginning of November reminded about risks of chlorine incidents. From 3rd to 5th November 2017,
Donetsk Filter station (DFS) was shelled at least three times. A backup chlorine pipeline was hit and a second crater was only
around 50m from chlorine warehouse.
Damage to the main pipe would cause leakage of poisonous chlorine gas into the environment. There is also a secondary risk
health to the population: treatment of drinking water with chlorine could also easily be interrupted by the damage to chlorine
pipelines, which would cause bacteriologically unsafe water to be pumped to homes on both sides of the line of contact.

The WASH Cluster in Ukraine is asking all sides to facilitate respect critical social infrastructure according to International Humanitarian Law.

UTILITY PROBLEMS THREATEN MISERY IN WINTER 2017-2018
On October 15, the official heating season started in Ukraine. So far, ambient temperatures have been mild. However
with temperatures predicted to plummet in December the WASH Cluster once again highlights the need to protect and
repair infrastructure which provides water for centralized heating systems. In the upcoming winter months centralized
town heating systems may stop due to lack of water; or due to lack of electricity to pump hot water around the closed,
insulated heating networks that connect to most multi-storey buildings.
Shelling is not the only problem. Debts, causing non-preparedness for the upcoming winter is also
an issue. In Luhansk GCA, LEO (the main electricity supplier in the oblast) reports that trees near
power lines were not cut this year to lack of funds, and they could easily fall on lines, causing a blackout, as occurred to 70% of GCA areas in

Luhansk in September 2017. Further, all bank accounts of LEO are frozen due to debts owed to
Energorynok. LEO highlighted that due to non payments for electricity by town vodokanals, and
others, they are unable to reduce their own debts, which are now more than 5.5 Billion Hrivnas (200
m USD): employees work only 3 or 4 days per week and LEO suffers from a lack of fuel for repair
brigades (trucks, cars). The company expects a worsening of the situation and takes action to
pressurize water companies to pay. Svatovo (17,000 affected), Kreminna (8,000 affected) and Petrovsky
pumping stations (150,000 affected), have all been cut from electricity recently.
The Government of Ukraine recently took steps to reduce the debts of Voda Donbasa and DTEK, key utilities in Donetsk
oblast, by passing Bill of Parliament 7140, which provides 1.8 Billion HRN of debt relief. However problems with the Tariff
Commission, may yet prevent this critical action being implemented before the end of 2017.
A map showing towns most at risk from heating problems in 2017-2018 was shared in WASH Cluster Bulletin No.10.

 

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Organization(s): 
United Nations Children's Fund
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Original Publication Date: 
21 Nov 2017
Document type: 
Analysis Report