14:49 GMT18 May 2021
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    UN's humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland said that 5.5 million people had their water supplies cut or minimized after supply from the Wadi Barada spring was disrupted.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — Some 5.5 million people in Damascus have little to no access to water after supply from the Wadi Barada spring was disrupted, UN's humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland said Thursday.

    "In Damascus itself, 5.5 million people have had their water supplies cut or minimized because the spring of Wadi Barada – which is just outside Damascus and accounts for 70 percent of the water supplies – has been broken," Egeland said.

    Emergency efforts are underway to ensure that schools, hospitals and other important facilities, such as bakeries, get water, said Egeland, who chairs the UN task force on humanitarian access in Syria. He added lack of clean water could trigger an epidemic of waterborne diseases.

    The UN official said that the issue of who was to blame for the disruption was very much politicized and disputed. The spring could have been damaged by fighting or bombardment or sabotage by armed opposition groups.


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