Relief efforts in Kherson disturbed by shelling

“We were able to help at a very important moment” said Barnabas Szatmári, Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s Emergency Response Director for Ukraine, talking about HIA’s rapid humanitarian response to the floods caused by the explosion at the Nova Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.  The two-pronged aid programme is aimed at supporting both the affected population directly as well as emergency services in Kherson. These are involved in restoring utilities and pumping water out of flooded shelters, basements and contaminated wells and piping as the water continues to recede further. In total, 96 pumps, 50 generators, fuel and associated equipment have been donated by Hungarian Interchurch Aid to help restore shelters and drinking water in the flooded neighbourhoods.

After providing emergency aid to evacuated and trapped people, a complex aid programme – based on a thorough assessment of local conditions – was launched. Leading the HIA team on the ground in Kherson, Barnabás Szatmári lauded the close coordination with the local administration, allowing the HIA’s aid programme to respond to the most urgent needs. Despite the regular attacks even on flooded areas, HIA’s efforts directly helped 35210 evacuees and residents in their plight.

The population of Kherson – a city under constant shelling – is currently struggling to find shelter as the town’s basements, along with wells and drains, remain saturated with contaminated water. The equipment donated by HIA to local water company and emergency services is already at work, pumping out water wherever needed. Some of the generators and pumps are now also serving residents in the 100 or so flood-affected apartment blocks of  the Korabelny neighbourhood in Kherson. Ten of the sets of pumps and associated equipment will be used by the water company and twenty by the emergency services.

On June 6, following the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka dam the floods reached the villages on the banks of the Dnipro River in just a few hours. HIA – in cooperation with its local partner – was able to respond on the same day. In the time since the dam burst, HIA has distributed several truckloads of aid to those in need, providing food parcels to 3200 families and drinking water to 8000. It also handed out “survival kits” for 500 households, consisting of a flashlight, an external battery, candles, first aid kits and a mattress, as well as providing 110 evacuees with beds, mattresses and bedding.

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