The conflict between Ukraine and combined Russian-separatist forces in the Donbas (a region encompassing the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts), which erupted in 2014, has damaged one of the largest water delivery systems in Europe’s east. Water shortages and poor water quality are worsening an already difficult humanitarian, socio-economic and political situation in a war-torn area of Ukraine abutting the frontline territories. Constant shelling threatens access to safe water and sanitation for more than 3.9 million people (including 500,000 children) in eastern Ukraine. Every fourth resident near the contact line lacks a reliable source of drinking water. On September 16, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the resolution “On the appeal to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to take measures to provide the population of Donetsk region with an uninterrupted water supply” (Rada.gov.ua, September 22). But due to the difficult economic situation in the country, it is not quite clear how effective such legislation can be considering the massive financing it would require.
The Donbas without water: The ecology of the east Ukrainian frontline
By Staff6 Mins Read