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Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus: shortage of drinking water

12-06-1996 News Release 96/23

The inhabitants of Gudermes, the second largest city in Chechnya, were once again without drinking water after clashes broke out in early May between Russian federal troops and Chechen separatists. From 27 May the ICRC resumed its water distributions to the population. Seven tankers are now trucking in some 230,000 litres a day, and in the longer term the ICRC intends to install a pumping station with a daily capacity of 200,000 to 300,000 litres. After the city's electricity supply was restored at the end of March, providing the necessary power to operate the water distribution network, the ICRC had suspended its deliveries of drinking water to Gudermes.

The ICRC's safe water supply and sanitation programme is a vital component of the institution's work in this region where epidemics, and cholera in particular, may break out with the onset of the warm weather. The ICRC is currently distributing more than 700,000 litres of water per day in Chechnya, both in Grozny and in many villages affected by the fighting.