NO ELECTRICITY, GAS, OR WATER SUPPLY. PEOPLE IN NEED AND PARTNERS SUPPORT PEOPLE IN LIBERATED AREAS IN EASTERN UKRAINEPublished: Oct 1, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Kyiv (30th of September 2022) - People in Need (PIN), together with local humanitarian partners, started to deliver life-saving assistance to Izium and Balakliia in Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine just a few days after the settlements became accessible to aid organisations. Fighting severely damaged both towns, including multistoried-apartment buildings, private houses, schools, hospitals, shops, and public infrastructure. There is no electricity, gas, or water supply in the settlements. For months the people living there survived, despite the danger of shelling and the lack of products and services.
"There is no water, no heating, and no electricity, and people are on the verge of starvation. We have no medicine and many problems. We are still shocked," shares Viktoria, a resident of Izium, who stayed there during the occupation along with her family. "Eighty-nine people were staying in our house; half were pensioners, three children, two diabetics, and one who needed kidney dialysis. We had no medication; we had nothing to eat—we used candles to heat food. We drank rainwater that we drew from wells," adds Viktoria.
To support the residents in Izium, PIN, together with the local partner U.Prava delivered four trucks of drinking water — 80,000 litres. A further 80,000 litres were delivered to the residents of Balakliia. Further water deliveries will be made as we continue to support people who have endured the horrors of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine for seven months.
According to local authorities, the estimated number of people in Balakliia is between 12,000 and 15,000. These estimates include those who stayed and returnees—however, before the invasion, the number of inhabitants was 27,000. Izium is in a similar situation. The town's population now is 18,000, yet before the invasion, Izium had a population of 46,000. Of the remaining population, there are 700-1000 school-age children.
Though most of Izium and Balakliia have been destroyed—the towns are full of gutted apartment blocks, ruined administration buildings, roads, and bridges—life is beginning to return. The residents are getting around on bikes, queuing for aid parcels, water, and other assistance delivered by humanitarians to support those in need.
"My family and I stayed here in Izium, and we did not even consider leaving when it was terrible. This is our home. I was born here, and I don't want to move somewhere else, even if it is not safe. We know that we should be very careful while moving around as there are a lot of mines, but we believe that our town will be safe and will get back to normal life soon," said Olha, the resident of Izium.
"We’ll continue supporting people in the Kharkiv Oblast, in Izium, and Balakliia in particular, by delivering water and food. Furthermore, we are planning to supply Emergency Shelter Materials as the needs are crucial. Our team has visited Balakliia and Izium and seen the destruction caused by the hostilities. We have seen private houses and multi-story buildings that sustained serious damage. Local authorities are working to repair supply systems, but the damages are huge, and repairs will take some time. Meanwhile, people are still without electricity, gas and water. Moreover, winter is approaching, and we need to respond to the needs as fast as possible,” says Sergey Saienko, East Region Director for People in Need Ukraine.
People in Need in Ukraine:
Seven months have passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Whilst People in Need has been helping people in eastern Ukraine since 2014, in February this year, our assistance changed. We immediately increased our team in Ukraine and expanded our operation to almost all the oblasts throughout the country. Since then, we have helped more than 400,000 people, our team on the ground has grown to 260 employees, and generous donors have contributed more than two billion Czech crowns (€80 million) to the Ukraine emergency appeal. We have provided €32,9 million worth of aid to the victims of the war since Russia invaded.