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Drinking water for Mosul’s displaced people

Published on Thursday 27 April 2017

Since the beginning of the Mosul offensive in northern Iraq, hundreds of thousands of families have had to flee the conflict and leave their homes. South of the city, along the Tigris, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has installed a water treatment facility.

The humanitarian impact of the Mosul offensive in Iraq is considerable. More than 5,000 people flee the city every day. Over the 500,000 persons who have had to flee the city, 275,000 people come from West Mosul and seek refuge in camps and informal settlements, particularly in the south corridor along the Tigris.

The fear of cholera

For all the families who have had to flee within a few hours, drinking water is certainly the most urgent need. “However valuable, water cruelly lacks and when it is available, its poor quality and its turbidity cause diarrhoea that leads to believe in a potential cholera outbreak close to the hot season”, says Caroline Bedos, in charge of the Middle-East at SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL. Since the beginning of the Mosul offensive, our teams have been doing everything possible to provide affected populations with drinking water. Some of them have had to flee the conflict several times.

irak station eau
120 cubic metres of drinking water per day

A water treatment facility has been settled by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL along the Tigris. “We set up some tanks that enable us to treat surface water, then we distribute the water through trucks. The 120 cubic meters of water produced every day allow us to provide 8,000 people with 15 litres of water every day.” Those activities contribute to reduce populations’ vulnerability, particularly female-headed families.

Direct distribution of water in Mosul districts

“Our water treatment facility along the Tigris in Hamam Al Alil covers the needs of the population from the area. It also allows us to treat and provide water to Doctors Without Borders’s medical facilities but also to neighbouring camps. Our next challenge is to be the first to distribute water in West Mosul’s newly accessible neighbourhoods. Thanks to this reactivity but also to the fact that we are the only ones to have a water source that we are able to treat and convey, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is now a key player in the response to the Mosul water crisis.

Photos: Marie Fanget

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  • 38 million inhabitants
  • 18.9% poverty rate
  • 121st out of 188 on the Human Development Index
  • 8,000 helped people