Siege of Mariupol: Water Services Cut, Infections Spread

About 85% Of City Infrastructure Destroyed

30 Mar 2022 by The Water Diplomat
KYIV, Ukraine

The Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been without functioning water supplies since the first week of March following attacks from advancing Russian forces.

The city came under attack from both the east and the west, as it lies on the coastal strip between Crimea, annexed by Russian forces in Crimea in 2014, and Russian backed separatists in the Donbas region. A Medecins Sans Frontières staff member reported on the 12 March that there has been no water in the city for some ten days, and MSF could itself not find appropriate water sources.

The local population has been sourcing unprotected water from different locations and has been using this for consumption after boiling it. Due to winter conditions, many individuals were able to source water by collecting and melting snow. This has enabled by cooking on wood fires, and has been a source of drinking water, but fears have been voiced that as the end of winter approaches, this source of water may run out.

In some areas water is available, but citizens face personal risks of exposure to bombing and gunfire in order to make the trip to these sources. Hygiene has reportedly also been compromised through the lack of water as well as through the crowded conditions in the shelters to which the population has fled following the commencement of hostilities. 

At the time of writing, between 80% - 90% of buildings and other infrastructure in the city had been destroyed. The bombing has been indiscriminate, including residential buildings and key civilian infrastructure such as a maternity hospital which was struck on the 9 March and the Donetsk Regional Drama Theater which was used as an air raid shelter, housing between 1000 and 1300 people.

The city of Mariupol has remained under siege, and despite negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, fighting has only stopped long enough to allow some 40,000 people to leave the city.

Related Topics

5 Mar 2022 SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine

The canal, the key supply of water to the Crimea, was bombed on the first day of the attack. Restoration of the canal bed is expected to take 2 weeks but already water appears to b...

Current Conflict, Historic Nuclear Blast: The Double Threats To Eastern Ukraine Water Supply

22 Apr 2021 KYIV, Ukraine

A million people lose fresh water supply as more infrastructuredamaged in conflict. Continuingrisk of radioactive contamination in flooded mine