Mosul: 300,000 children cut off from clean water as conflict intensifies, UNICEF says

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An Iraqi girl from Mosul seen in the al-Hawl Camp in Syria's northeastern Hasakah governorate. Photo: ARA News

Geneva (UN) – Destruction of a major water pipeline has left nearly half of the children in the Iraqi battleground city of Mosul cut off from access to clean water, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.

Nearly 300,000 children and their families lost access to one of the three major water conduits in eastern Mosul amid the military’s ongoing operations to wrest control of the city from ISIS.

The Islamic State (ISIS) currently controls part of the city where the broken pipeline is located, making it very hard to access and repair quickly.

“Children and their families are facing a horrific situation in Mosul. Not only are they in danger of getting killed or injured in the cross-fire, now potentially more than half a million people do not have safe water to drink,” Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq said in a news release.

Hawkins also urged all parties to the conflict to allow these critical deliveries and repairs, stressing that civilian infrastructure must never be attacked.

Currently there is not enough water supplies to meet the needs of the residents. “There is only enough running water for a few more days, and if it will not be restored, civilians will be forced to use unsafe water resources,” UNICEF reports.

Children exposed to unsafe water resources are at risk of waterborne diseases such as severe diarrhoea and the threat of malnutrition.

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