Besieged residents of Syria’s Kobane suffer water crisis



ARA News

Kobane, Syria− The 6-month-old siege by the al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forced the residents of Kobane city in northern Syria to resort to artesian wells as an alternative to the main water provider of Euphrates. 

Residents of the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobane experienced sharp shortage of basic supplies, including water, as members of ISIL group blocked all the roads between the city and its environs, and cut off the means of supply.

As the ISIL group took over the Euphrates water provider, the urgent need to water led Kobane’s residents to dig dozens of artesian wells.  

However, the side effects and dangers associated with the use of artesian wells remain unavoidable.

In this regard, Dr. Mohammad Shahin, a specialist of gastrointestinal diseases, stated to ARA News: “As the surface water contains impurities and other substances, in addition to the lack of efficient filtering processes, water provided by artesian wells affects the cardiovascular and nervous systems.” 

“This water (supplied by artisan wells) is often polluted by malignant germs, which results in severe inflammations accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting and fever,” said Dr. Shahin. “The increase of some chemicals in the water leads to constituting and depositing crystals in the kidneys known as renal calculus “. 

Amid the shortage of pure water in Kobane city and the urgent need to use artesian wells as the only available provider, in addition to the lack of systematic filtering processes, Dr. Shahin suggested that “boiling then cooling water largely helps in reducing the side effects, and use of chlorine −if available− would aid sterilizing water and give more efficient results”.   

The siege of Kobane and the sharp shortage of basic supplies forced hundreds of families to escape the deteriorating humanitarian situation and cross the borders into Turkey, as all roads leading to the nearby Syrian areas are blocked by members of the al-Qaeda splinter group of ISIL.  

Surviving under the current poor conditions in Kobane city could most likely lead to the outbreak of serious diseases among the residents. 

Dr. Shahin highlighted that “Oxidized water tanks or those having calcareous sediments are germs setting, so it is preferable to be cleaned every now and then”, adding that “Water provided by wells may get mixed with sewage water as both are surface water mostly. This may result in having dangerous phlogistic diseases”.

Reporting by: Sadruddin Kino

Source: ARA News


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