The UN Development Program (UNDP) said that 70 percent of Syrians do not have access to potable water on a regular basis as the Assad regime and its Russian ally deliberately target vital civilian infrastructure.
In its latest report, UNDP stressed that ensuring access to clean drinking water at affordable prices requires increased investment in infrastructure, the provision of sanitation facilities, and the promotion of standards of hygiene at all levels. It noted that such measures would take several years in view of the massive destruction caused to infrastructure in Syria.
The report indicated that the Arab region is the most affected by water insecurity, noting that and that 14 of the world’s 20 most water-stressed countries are located in the Arab region. It also said that the average person in the Arab region accesses just 12 percent of the renewable water that the average global citizen enjoys.
With regard to the scarcity of water in Syria, the Hama provincial council and the local council in the town of Aqiribat in central Syria on 11 September issued an appeal to humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to nearly 342 displaced families who were in urgent need of water in IDPs camps in south rural Idlib.
In mid-August, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that the Assad regime is using water as a weapon against the Syrian people.
Andreas Knapp, Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene with UNICEF Syria, said that certain areas in Syria have been deprived of clean water through the destruction of water pipes and pumps. The Austrian national said that UNICEF recorded at least 30 deliberate water cuts in 2016.
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria in March announced that the Assad regime’s bombing of the Ayn Al-Fija pumping station outside Damascus constituted a “war crime.”
Water facilities have been subjected to systematic bombardment by the Assad regime and Russia forces over the past several years. In addition to the destruction of these vital facilities, the Assad regime has been using water as a weapon against Syrian civilians in the areas outside its control. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)