UN and partners have distributed nearly 12,000 bottles of water to children on the move in Kherson and in the city of Mykolaiv, following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukriane.
UN Spokesperson, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, said this at a news conference on Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York.
Dujarric said more than 1,700 kits with essential supplies were also distributed for children on the move, and 10,000 purification tablets to five municipalities in Kherson and in the city of Mykolaiv.
“We also distributed ready-to-eat food for about 400 people within hours of their evacuation. And today we are providing one month’s worth of food to 200 people in the Mykolaiv region.
“Humanitarian organisations are also supporting the authorities with the evacuations and are helping coordinate the accommodation of people arriving from Kherson into various transit centres.
“They are also delivering hygiene supplies and other basic items to people in Mykolaiv and Odesa who have been evacuated and sought shelter in those two towns.
“Cash, psychosocial and health support and recreational activities for children at the Kherson train station is also part of the ongoing response,” he said.
The spokesperson also briefed on operational response from the humanitarian office OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), representatives of five UN agencies and some NGOs that were in Kherson to assess the situation.
“They tell us that the disaster will likely get worse in the coming hours, as water levels are still rising, and more villages and towns are being flooded.
“This will impact people’s access to essential services and seriously raise health risks.
“On Tuesday, around 1,500 people left their flooded homes. That is according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and more people were evacuated Wednesday. Most of them are staying in Mykolaiv city, which is close to their homes.
“Access to water remains one of our main concerns. Thousands of people depend on the Kakhovka Reservoir for drinking water, and the levels are dropping very rapidly,” he said.
In addition, he said flooding could also lead to contamination of water sources, and obviously, that also has a negative health impact.
According to him, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns that the destruction of the dam will likely impact food security, as thousands of hectares of agricultural land have now been flooded, destroying recently planted crops.
“Authorities said that the destruction of the dam decimated the irrigation systems in the Dnipro, Kherson and Zaporizhizia regions.
“On the response side, we are working non-stop to provide communities impacted with the assistance, with as much help as they are able to deliver and to meet their needs,” said Dujarric.
Meanwhile, Dujarric said Martin Griffiths, Emergency Relief Coordinator, had briefed on behalf of the Secretariat about the situation.
He told Security Council members on Tuesday that the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam was possibly the most significant damage to civilian infrastructure since the start of the Russian invasion in February, 2022.