Nikopol in Ukraine faces a severe water crisis after the Kakhovka Dam explosion, leaving the river nearly dry. The UN and local authorities are delivering aid to provide clean water and support.
In the wake of the devastating explosion at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam, the city of Nikopol in Dnipro Region is grappling with a severe water crisis. According to Denise Brown, the UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, who spoke during a recent briefing in Kyiv, the river in the Nikopol area has been left almost completely devoid of water due to the explosion.
Brown expressed her shock at the situation, stating
"I was in Nikopol last week on Monday. And what is absolutely shocking is that there is almost no water left in the river."
The water levels in the river have plummeted to an alarming low, making access to clean water a pressing concern for the city's residents.
To address this dire situation, both the UN and local authorities have initiated efforts to provide Nikopol residents with access to drinking water. This includes setting up 20 water supply sites around the city and deploying large containers that are refilled three times a day. Additionally, local organizations have established WhatsApp groups to keep the public informed about water supply updates.
The response to the Kakhovka dam explosion has been comprehensive, with the UN and its partners delivering vital aid to the affected areas. Denise Brown detailed the extent of assistance provided, revealing that 5.3 million liters of drinking water have been distributed. Moreover, approximately 2 million water purification tablets were distributed in the affected regions, along with 240,000 food rations and cash assistance for 20,000 individuals. This substantial aid package has aimed to alleviate the hardships faced by the affected population.
Notably, the UN's efforts in June were sufficient to meet the needs of approximately 200,000 people in Nikopol and the surrounding areas. Furthermore, financial assistance has been extended to nearly 20,000 people, while an additional 20,000 individuals have been registered for future support.
The background to this crisis lies in Nikopol's location along the Kakhovka Reservoir of the Dnipro River, which has been severely impacted by the explosion at the KHPP dam. Saviano Abreu, a spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted the broader water crisis in Ukraine, noting that around 11 million people across the country are currently struggling with issues related to access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services.