Conflict Then Flash Floods: 230,000 Children Affected In Northern Syria

27 Dec 2019 by Staff - Water Diplomat
ANKARA, Turkey

Flash flooding in northern Syria has particularly affected over 230,000 children who have already been displaced by conflict in 2019, according to NGO Save the Children.

In Northwest Syria, several camps were inundated, with the rain destroying about 500 tents and additional tents being abandoned when they became uninhabitable. Schools were forced to close when water levels exceeded 20 centimeters. Some areas have also been affected by unusually cold weather.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) expressed convern last month about a possible humanitarian crisis in northern Syria arising from a lack of access to clean drinking water.

The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that north-western Syria has seen extreme levels of violence amid renewed hostilities since 16 December, with heavy aerial bombardment and shelling across multiple areas of southern Idlib governorate. Hostilities have been focused on the Ma’arrat AnNu’man sub-district, with airstrikes targeting population centres such as Saraqab and Ma’arrat AnNu’man city.

An attack by Turkey on Northern Syria in October followed United States’ troops withdrawal from the region which effectively opened the door for Turkey’s offensive.

UNICEF reports that the Allouk water station in Al-Hasakeh has been repaired after damage incurred during the invasion, restoring water for 460,000 people after about one month.

Turkey state media has described its own government's attempts to restore water and electricity services to the conflict zone.

Iran And Syria Water MOU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian and Syria’s Water Resources Minister Hussein Arnous in early December outlines a framework of cooperation between the two countries in the field of water and wastewater, the Tehran Times reports, creating a mechanism for Iranian companies to participate in the construction of dams, hydropower plants and the construction of water and wastewater treatment plants in war-torn Syria.

Iranian companies will be awarded a special priority in post-war Syria's reconstruction projects, Arkadian said.