Continuous presence and successive aid operations in flooded Kherson Oblast
The first, 20-ton consignment of emergency aid has already arrived to the frontline city of Kherson. HIA’s next relief operations will also focus on the phase after the water recedes, to facilitate restoration of normal life with the donation of water pumps and electric generators. Barnabas Szatmári, Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s Emergency Response Director in Ukraine and his team are coordinating aid and relief operations in the flood-affected region. Help now arrives to the relief of thousands who had to flee their place of residence, with some having no choice but to remain in their flooded homes following the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka dam.
Thanks to its constant presence in the regions since its liberation in November last year, HIA has been able to respond immediately to the needs that have arisen while also developing plans for future action. On the day of the disaster, 350 families have received emergency aid from HIA and its local partner through reallocation of available resources. The first aid consignment of food and hygiene products arrived from Hungary in Kherson last Friday, further distributions will run all week. HIA and its local partner are also handing over some of the food and hygiene parcels to the injured and/or sick evacuees of the Kherson hospital.
On further plans, Barnabás Szatmári has explained that HIA also provides mattresses, pillows, bed linen, towels and hygiene kits for the evacuees, and has donated 50 new electric generators to help communities cut off from electricity. At the request of local authorities, HIA also provides water pumps and additional electric generators to the local water and sanitation works to facilitate restoration of utilities. HIA is in continuous contact with officials, and after discussions will also distribute 40 tons of potable water seeing the severe water shortages in Kherson Oblast.
The situation in the region remains critical, with 33 settlements on the right bank of the Dnieper River alone flooded, putting 16,000 people directly at risk. Tens of thousands of people outside the almost 600 square kilometres of flooded area are also affected: drinking water and electricity is cut off in many places and biological and chemical contamination of groundwater from the flooding is also expected to have serious consequences. Evacuation and relief efforts continue to be hampered by artillery attacks. However, HIA’s presence in Kherson and surroundings is continuous, as successive crises of the region require an increase of the intensity of assistance.