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Northern Caucasus/Chechnya: Grozny drowning in sewage

07-11-1996 News Release 96/44

Water and electricity have been restored to some parts of Grozny, but the volume of waste water and sewage that has accumulated since August 1996 is so great that the drainage system is completely clogged, leaving pumping stations unable to function. Sewers are beginning to overflow into the basements of buildings and some streets, posing a serious public health risk.

ICRC engineers have begun working to clear and repair the city's thirteen pumping stations. It will take extra equipment and two weeks of work removing some 10,000 m 3 of sludge before the drainage system can be overhauled.

The ICRC also plans to work closely with local media in an information campaign to warn the populatio n of contamination risks.