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World News

Christian Aid warns thousands at risk from disease as “time is running out” after Ukraine floods

by Donna Birrell

Christian Aid says time is running out to make sure fresh water supplies are reaching survivors after the dam collapse in southern Ukraine.

The international development agency says it's working around the clock with its partners in Ukraine to make sure fresh water supplies are reaching survivors after the Nova Kakhovka dam was destroyed on Tuesday. 

Christian Aid’s local partners say the risk now is contaminated water from dead animals and sewage could spread disease.

According to the UN, around 80 towns and villages have been flooded with 17,000 people affected. It’s feared this could rise to 40,000 people. 2,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the first 24 hours after the dam collapsed.

Iryna Dobrohorska, Chirstian Aid's Ukraine Response Director, said:

"Time is running out for flood survivors. Our local partners are working tirelessly to respond to this disaster, but the scale of the challenge is huge, especially with the danger of coming under artillery fire.

“We know that a flood like this risks disease breaking out. That’s why our partners are delivering water and food in the area as well as helping the survivors who want to leave the area to safety in Odesa."

Christian Aid has renewed its emergency appeal for Ukraine in response to the devastating floods which has forced thousands of people to leave their homes. Funds will go the charity’s partners Alliance for Public Health and Blythswood Care’s local partner Heritage Ukraine.

Over the coming months Christian Aid's partners will continue to provide humanitarian supplies to people who are displaced or had to leave, the affected areas of southern Ukraine.

The head of International Programmes at Christian Aid’s Blythswood Care partner, Balázs Csiszer, said:

“Following the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam, the humanitarian needs in the Kherson area are immense. Despite the dangers, our local partners Heritage Ukraine are rapidly responding.

“Already they are helping people with drinking water, water purification, food and evacuation. In coming weeks, we will be providing safe drinking water, hygiene kits, water containers and other non-food items.”

The full impact of rising water along both sides of the frontline Dnipro River has yet to be seen but the UN fears it could be an environmental as well as humanitarian disaster. 


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