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WASH Cluster Incident Report №161, 26/12/2018

Dear All,


This is to confirm that shelling extremely close to the 1st Lift Pumping Station (LPS) of South Donbas Water Way (SDWW), last night (on 25-26 December 2018) caused some damage (See attached Incident report no. 161). According to the VD water company, which supplies more than 3.5 million people with water in conflict affected Donetsk oblast in Eastern Ukraine, staff identified shell-damaged window of the pumping station in the morning, after leaving the bomb shelter this morning. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The 1st LPS supplies water to five filter stations, between them providing clean water to more than 1,1 million people, mainly in GCA, except Donetsk city, Yasynuvata, Dokuchaievsk, Yasne and Olenivka in NGCA.


Winter weather severely affects water supplies in December 2018



Yesterday, and today, 25th and 26th December 2018, water companies informed the WASH Cluster that widespread winter weather in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine had stopped electricity supplies to many water facilities, putting water supply at risk to more than 3 million people.


Donetsk Oblast - Key issues were reported by Voda Donbasa:

Donetsk Filter Station was depowered at 6.40 am today due to power Lines damaged near “HOSPODAR” market in Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA). A Window of Silence (WoS) is agreed for today (26th December) according to REK, the power company located in NGCA Donetsk, previously part of DTEK company. At the moment Avdiivka is relying on its backup reservoir, which contains water for around 3-4 days; Verkhniotoretske and Vasilivka are without water. Western areas of Donetsk city have switched to Verkhnikalmiuske Filter Station. Some electrical repairs were undertaken near to the Donetsk Filter Station, today, however we do not yet know if they were successful.
Pumps were turned off at the 3rd Lift Pumping Station of the SDD channel (second unit) due to power line issues. To increase volume of water pumped another two pumps were switched on at Mayorska Pumping Station, which is co-located at the same facility, although those pumps are smaller.  Due to the shutdown of pumps at 3rd Lift Pumping Station on the SDD channel, valve near the arched pipe bridge of the SDD channel were severely damaged, in no-man’s land (“they blew”). Valves have since been repaired, but the issue of ensuring this huge pumping station continues is absolutely critical as more than 3 million people are supplied by that infrastructure alone, with no backup.
On 25th December workers from Voda Donbasa came under fire from heavy machine guns while continuing to complete repairs on the clean water pipeline from Horlivka to Toretsk, in spite of an agreed Window of Silence yesterday. Water was restarted to Toretsk after 3 of 4 planned repairs were completed earlier in the day. Luckily no-one was injured, but obviously tis is unacceptable.


More locally:

Four boreholes # 28, 29, 37, 38 and the Water Distribution Pumping Station Melova are deenergized in Sloviansk city, as a result water supply to the city is reduced, but not cut.
At 8.10 am on 25th December, the Water Distribution Pumping Station No.3 for Snizhne city (NGCA), was de-energized. (Pre conflict population of Snizhne is 49500). Repairs to restore power to the Snizhne city water supply (in Non-Government Controlled Areas of Donetsk Oblast)  were completed today, 26th Dec.
Waste Water Treatment Plant and sewerage Pumping Station #3 in Kirovske city, in the south of Donetsk Oblast, in NGCA were depowered since 8.45 am on 25th December (pre conflict population is 28 149 people).
Water Pumping Station No.1 in Lyman city was de-energized at 7.30 am on 25th December. Half of the city, around 10,000 people, were without water (population of the city was reportedly 21 000 as of 2017). The power line is now repaired.
Boreholes in villages Shishovka, Nikishino, Manuilove, Stepanivka (Shahtiorsk department, NGCA) were de-energized: also now repaired.



In Luhansk Oblast – issues reported by Popsanyansky Voakanal, which supplies water to both sides of the contact line:

Today, 26th December 2018, part of Popasna Town (officially 22,000 people total population) is cut from water supply as a powerline owned by the railroad company depowered local pumps transferring water from the Karbonit system to the town. Power line repairs are in progress.
A key pumping station in Svatove is cut from electricity.
In spite of multiple powerline damages yesterday electricity company LEO is attempting to make repairs in multiple locations in Government Controlled Areas (GCA).


The bottom line is that multiple weather related incidents are stopping water supplies in the eastern conflict area, as we previously feared. It is lucky that temperatures are above the seasonal average, otherwise the consequences would have been more severe, especially for vulnerable groups, who would suffer greatly should centralised heating systems be stopped.

United Nations Children's Fund
Original Publication Date: 
26 Dec 2018
Document type: 
Situation Report