EN|RU|UK
  7369

 ICRC to pay electricity bills to ensure water supply for 600,000 Donbas inhabitants

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has announced it will step in to cover electricity bills to avoid water being cut off to 600,000 people in eastern Ukraine.

Censor.NET reports citing the ICRC press service.

"We've taken this unprecedented step in order to avert a potentially dire humanitarian problem," Alain Aeschlimann, head of the ICRC's delegation in Ukraine, said.

Read more: Russian militants refuse to withdraw troops from Stanytsia Luhanska, construct new checkpoints, - OSCE

"It's a stop-gap measure, not a sustainable solution. It buys more time. Only a political solution can resolve this issue. If nothing is done, people living in the affected area will have to face the region's very harsh winter with no heating or water," he said.

Water stations in the government-controlled area of the Luhansk region had no electricity supply for over a week due to unpaid bills and, as a result, have stopped functioning.

Read more: West remains steadfast in support for stable, unified and democratic Ukraine, - Kerry

Moreover, the ICRC asked all those involved in negotiations on the issue to find ways to pay for the water provided by installations located in government-controlled areas and supplied to non-government controlled areas. It also expressed its readiness to act as a neutral intermediary for fixing technical issues.

Of particular concern is knock-on damage that this situation could cause to the whole heating system. Pipes could freeze and crack with no hot water running through them. People may be led to rely on electric heating systems which risk overloading the electricity network, the report notes.
 
 
 
 up