By Mark Ellis
A major pipeline supplying water to the eastern part of Mosul was destroyed during the battle to retake the city from ISIS, leaving thousands without safe water and at risk of disease and death.
“Children and their families are facing a horrific situation in Mosul. Not only are they in danger of getting killed or injured in the cross fire, now potentially more than half a million people do not have safe water to drink,” said Peter Hawkins, a UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
The Iraqi government is attempting to replace the loss by trucking in water, but the supply will not come close to meeting the demand.
Almost 300,000 children in Mosul are suddenly at risk of diseases such as diarrhea and malnutrition, UNICEF said.
“Unless running water is restored in the next days, civilians will be forced to resort to unsafe water sources,” the organization said. “Children in affected areas are already strained from years of extremely harsh living conditions.”
The Iraqi authorities are scrambling with UNICEF to restore several water treatment plants to expand supplies.
“UNICEF urges all parties to the conflict to allow these critical deliveries and repairs. Civilian infrastructure must never be attacked,” Hawkins said.