NORTH & EAST SYRIA: UNICEF issues statement on continued water disruptions in al-Hasakah province

Democratic Autonomous Administration Water Directorate: Russia did not commit to its obligations

Rish Ayno – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a statement on Monday after Turkey stopped the Allouk water station. The Allouk water station supplies the Gozarto, al-Hasakah province and its countryside with water. The UNICEF statement says:

“The water supply from the Allouk water station in northeastern Syria once again, has been interrupted. The interruption of water supply during the current efforts to reduce the outbreak of coronavirus, expose children and families to unacceptable risk. Washing hands with soap is extremely important in fighting COVID-19.”

“The station is the main water supply for about 460,000 people in al-Hasakah, Tel Tamr, as well as al-Hall and al-Areesh camps. Access to safe and reliable water supply is essential to ensure that children and families in the region are not subjected to infections,” the statement added.

“No child should be obliged to live even one day without safe water. Clean water and hand-washing save lives,” the statement added, noting that exploiting water for military or political gains is unacceptable.

The Allouk water station is located in the Turkish occupied zone in Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) countryside. It is the latest in a series of water disruptions over the past weeks by the occupying Turkish army and Syrian National Army (SNA). The SNA is a collection of militias, including several espousing Islamist ideologies, formed, trained and funded by Turkey who invaded the region in October 2019.

In related news, the Co-Chair of the Water Directorate in the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) in Hasakah province Suzdar Ahmed, criticized the Russian side for not committing to its obligations regarding operating the Allouk station, after it had been stopped last Saturday. She said the Russian side did not take any steps to solve the problem of water cuts affecting the city of Hasaka and its countryside after the Turkish army stopped the Allouk water station from operating.

Ahmed indicated that the DAA had agreed through Russian mediation last February to supply electricity to occupied Rish Ayno (Ras Al-Ain) in exchange for operating the Allouk water station. Despite the commitment of the DAA, the Turkish occupation did not adhere to the agreement. Ahmed appealed to international organizations and Russian mediation to put an end to Turkey’s control over water stations in al-Hasakah city and its countryside, and to leave the Allouk water station outside the military and political conflict.