المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Eyewitnesses to SOHR| Amid appeals for the Turkish side to bear responsibilities, water crisis worsened in al-Bab city in Aleppo countryside

The water crisis in al-Bab city in north Aleppo countryside due to the drought of large wells that the people have dug to secure their needs of water after the regime has cut the water several years ago by cutting the main water line that passes through Tadef neighborhood.

Amid scarcity of ground water , sufferings of the civilian of the water prices hikes that are transported in tanks and due to the severe shortage o ground water in the wells and the shrinking of the number of ground wells greatly which led the tanks owners and sellers to walk long distances to fill in the tanks and transfer it to the city which increased cost of the water prices.

A.R., a media activist who lives in al-Bab city told SOHR that the water crisis have doubled largely in the current year due to the rain water decline and the population inflations that the city has been suffering from due to the presences of thousands of displaced and deported.

He added that al-Bab population is more than 300,000 and each family needs three tanks monthly, each contains 20 barrels, noting that water problem is al-Bab city isn’t new. Since the regime forces have controlled areas east Aleppo, it has cut the water networks and the problem is escalated now in light of absence of solutions from the officials in the city from the local municipality and the Turkish side that imposes his authority on the region.

The media activist said price of the water tank exceed 75 Turkish lira which increased sufferings of the families that couldn’t secure enough quantities, stressing the importance of finding real solutions for the crisis as all the previous ones failed because the city is big and hosts large numbers of people and need big efforts by the organization to feed the project of al-Jabal Tank that supplies the whole city.
He also emphasized the importance of supervising owners of the remained ground water well in the city and the surrounding areas to prevent the monopoly of the water or rise of the tanks beyond the capabilities of the civilians or that the concerned bodies to bear the cost of clean water and cooperate with the city population to dramatically solve the crisis.

Meanwhile, M.A., who was displaced from southern Idlib and lives in al-Bab city in north Aleppo countryside highlighted to SOHR his suffering of buying the water and the difficulties he face to receive it.

“Due to the high demand on the water, we have to wait for more than five hours after requesting eh tanks from the water seller or the truck owner who transfer the water to house,” he said adding the one tanks sometimes reaches 100 Turkish liras for a capacity of 20 barrels in case it was difficult to fill in the water or bringing it from nearby towns

He added that the scarcity of water has posed large sufferings for the majority of the city populations especially the displaced and the deported and the limited income people, as each family needs around 250 Turkish lira monthly on average to buy water while most of the civilians don’t have source of income and in light of the weakness of the subsidy provided by the human organizations and the concerned bodies.

He added he need for water has extremely increased during the Summer which worsened sufferings of the civilians of the local people and the inhabitants in al-Bab city, while worries still existed of more escalations though some solutions have been offered by the local maniple council in the city but they weren’t enough or lead to final solution.

Local and civilian activists in al-Bab city have launched at the beginning of July Hastag on the social media for shedding light on the water crisis that the city is suffering from due to the drought of the wells and the regime forces cut of water connections to the city several years ago, while some activists have announced hashtag that the city is crisis due to the water shortage.

Meanwhile, sources have told SOHR that the remained ground wells in the vicinity of the city doesn’t exceed five that are even threatened of drought.

Over the population concerns of the danger of the water complete depletion, they asked the Turkish side specifically to put a limit for the crisis that was worsening continuously and lots of the city dignitaries have met with Turkish officials including Wali al-Bab city whose name s Shanoun al-Asmer for demanding to find concrete solutions for the crisis but the Turkish side has only made promises that haven’t been fulfilled to ease the people sufferings and solve the water crisis.

It is worth noting that while the north areas of Syria is getting out the control of the regime since the Syrian revolution, the regime has deliberately cut the water and electricity networks in those areas as a kind of punishment and the civilians have tended to dig some ground wells while some organizations supported some projects to supply cities and towns with clean water.

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