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WASH Cluster Incident Report №123, 18/04/2018

Dear All,

1) Firstly regarding yesterday’s shooting incident at Donetsk Filter Station, I am relieved to report that it seems the most serious casualty, now in hospital in Donetsk city is now stabilised according to Voda Donbasa. Of the other four casualties, two left hospital yesterday, one left today after surgery and the last is still in hospital in Yasynuvata following surgery. For the moment it seems there is no longer risk to life.

Voda Donbasa are stopping Donetsk Filter Station today and trying to evacuate staff, although Ukraine is currently not providing that guarantee. DFS will remain stopped until Voda Donbasa receive convincing guarantees for the safety of their teams. Therefore 345,000 people are affected (those officially served by the FS)…however water to most of Donetsk city can use water from Verkhnikalmiuske Filter Station. Valves on the (full) cleanwater tanks at DFS will be left open, so Avdiivka can take water by gravity form there (its normally pumped) and only some smaller towns and villages will be cut immediately from water, including Kruta Balka and some parts of Yasinuvata.


2) A second incident was recorded yesterday, although it was a little complicated, and therefore I wanted to understand fully the implications before informing you.
On 16th April at 20:00 shelling damaged several power lines close to several major water pumping stations located in a single location: the 3rd Lift Pumping Station (3rd Lift PS) of the Seviero Donets Donbass Channel (SDD channel). The pumping stations has four power feeds. Of those: two were destroyed completely, a third suffered a broken pylon and while its still working, it is most likely to stop altogether; and the fouth power line is the only one actually working properly.

The pumps at the 3rd Lift PS supply everyone downstream, including all of the South Donbass Water Way (SDWW): Horlivka, Donetsk City, Vulnavakha, Pokrovsk, Dokuchaievsk, and Mariupol cities. In total 14 filter stations are affected, which supply 3.25 million people. If more power lines are damaged then all 3.25 million people will be cut, one by one.

DTEK has requested a very urgent but very solidly agreed window of silence for the repair of the three power lines. Voda Donbasa need at least 12 hours warning before the WoS starts in order to lower the levels on the SDD channel.

There are specific risks associated with this repair which must be taken into consideration

a)SDD channel cannot be stopped altogether because the sudden drop in water levels would destroy its banks (which are saturated with water…they would simply slump, destroying the channel sides which are basically earth banks). Levels can be reduced in the channel in advance of the repair, but upstream pumping must continue to avoid this damage. If the SDD channel breaks all 3 million + people will be without water for the foreseeable future.
)Around 2.3 million people will be cut during the repair period itself, and of course, if repairs are unsuccessful their water is immediate at risk.


United Nations Children's Fund
Original Publication Date: 
18 Apr 2018
Document type: 
Situation Report