Access to reliable water and sanitation services continue to deteriorate in Ukraine as the war enters its fourth month.
A UNICEF assessment in April had estimated that 1. 4 million people living in eastern Ukraine did not have safe water while another 4.6 million only have limited access. A UNOCHA update on the 19th of May indicated that humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate while the needs grow, especially in southern and eastern Ukraine, with widespread disruptions to electricity supplies, gas supplies, and water supplies.
Both municipal authorities and the World Health Organisation warn of the potential for the outbreak of diseases including cholera in Mariupol. The World Health Organisation is in the process of providing medical supplies, equipment, and medicines but is unable to reach many areas in the east of the country.
Comprehensive data on the state of water supply facilities is not available, but the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination in Donetsk Oblast maintains a database of war damage and reported that at the time of the update, 729 civilian infrastructure facilities had been destroyed or damaged, which includes 320 electricity, water, and gas facilities.
A range of humanitarian organisations is providing emergency water supplies: UNICEF’s WASH cluster is focusing its operations in priority areas such as Donetsk, Luhansk and parts of Kharkivska, areas which together have approximately 1.5 million displaced people. Second order priority for WASH assistance has been attributed to the Chernihiv and Sumska regions in northern Ukraine.