89 Organizations denounce Turkey’s Repeated Water cut to Hundreds of Thousands of People in Syria’s North East.

89 Organizations denounce Turkey’s Repeated Water cut to Hundreds of Thousands of People in Syria’s North East.

August 24, 2020

For the eighth time, Turkey and affiliated local councils use water to blackmail in COVID-19 pandemic

On 13 August 2020, Turkish forces turned off the Alok water pumping station, under their control, to hundreds of thousands of people in northeastern Syria, just as they did earlier repeatedly in March, April and July and that was also followed by a frequent lack of water pumping.
The Alok water pumping station, which is located east of the city of Ras al Ayn/Serê Kaniyê and has 30 wells, which can pump up to 175.000 cubic meters per day, supplies drinkable water to around 800.000 people besides being the main source to fill the tanker trucks that carry water to the makeshift camps of al-Hawl, al-Areesha (or al-Sadd) and Washo Kani (or al-Twaina), according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Sporadic water cut forced the population of Syria’s north east to rely on unsafe alternatives, endangering their lives on top of their fight against COVID-19, that has infected 280 and killed 17 in northeastern Syria so far, according to the last update by the health authority of the Autonomous Administration on 20 August 2020. Suspending the Alok water station puts the lives of hundreds of thousands of people at risk, since washing hands with water and soup is essential to protect themselves against the pandemic.
Turkey and affiliated local councils claim that the forces in control of the Tishrin Dam interrupted power to the Alok water station causing its stop. However, that was refuted by observatory impartial organizations, among them the Human Rights Watch (HRW), which confirmed in a report that the Mabrouka power station does not supply the Alok pumping station and that the latter has alternative power sources enough to operate it.
Signatories of this statement condemn the repeated suspensions of the Alok water pumping station by Turkey and associated local councils, who continue to use it to blackmail. We also would like to recall that this deliberate denial of water to the population is a flagrant violation to their basic right to access clean water and to the international humanitarian law; it also constitutes a war crime, Accordingly, the signatories of this statement call on the United Nations (UN), the Security Council, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United States Government, the European Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to:

  1. Pressure Turkey and affiliated local councils to resume the Alok water station urgently and immediately, and ensure that there would be no repetition of such cuts under any pretext.
  2. Neutralize the Alok water station from political and military conflicts by suspending Turkey and other parties from using it to blackmail, and to hire a specialized and independent management team to run it under international supervision and control.
  3. Ensure that all population in Syria’s north east benefit from water and other natural resources fairly and equitably without discrimination of any kind, under impartial international supervision.
  4. Investigate into the repeated water cuts transparently and independently, and thus hold those involved accountable whoever they were.

The Statement Signatories;

  1. Aata’a Organization for Development
  2. Adel Center for Human Right
  3. Al Diyar Society
  4. Aljazera Relief Organisation
  5. Anoar Algad Organization
  6. Aras Charity Association
  7. ASHNA for Development
  8. Ashna Organization for Development
  9. Ashti Center for Peacebuilding
  10. ASO – Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies
  11. Ata’a Al-Baghouz Association for Development
  12. Atyaf Organization
  13. Baladna Organization for Civil Society
  14. Balsam Center for Health Education
  15. Better Hope for Tabqa
  16. Bonus without Borders
  17. Bukra Ahla Association for Relief and Development
  18. Civil Society Institutions Platform in Northern and Eastern Syria
  19. DAN for Relief and Development
  20. Dawlaty
  21. Demos Organization
  22. DOZ – Syria
  23. DREAM – Hlom for Development
  25. Ensaf for Development
  26. Euphrates Organization for Relief and Development – EORD
  27. Ezdina Organisation
  28. Field Response Team
  29. Forum Tow Rivers Organization
  30. GAV for Relief and Development
  31. Hajin Technicians Organization
  32. Hdf humanitarian Organization
  33. Hevy for Relief and Development
  35. Hope Smile – Al Fourat
  36. House of Citizenship Organization
  37. Human Hope Team
  38. Human Rights Organisation in Syria – MAF
  39. Inaash Organization for Development
  40. Inmaa alfourt Organization
  41. International War and Disaster Victims Protection Association – IPV
  42. Jan Center for the Care and Training of Children with Special Needs
  43. Jasmine Association – Raqqa
  44. Jian Charitable Society
  45. Jinar for Aid and Development
  46. Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights – JFHR
  47. Jomard Charity Association – JCA
  48. Judy Charity for Development and Relief
  49. Justice and Building Center
  50. Khwtwa Association for Relief and Development – Raqqa
  51. Kobani for Relief and Development
  52. Kurdish Committee for Human Rights – RASED
  53. Kurdish Legal Committee -KLC
  54. Kurdish Organisation for Human rights in Syria – DAD
  55. Land of peace Organization
  56. Lawir Organization for Animal Protection
  57. Legal Construction Organization
  58. Life for Syrian Association
  59. Mahabad Organization for Human Rights – MOHR
  60. Mitan Center to Revive Civil Society
  61. NABD Team
  62. Nour Jan Charitable Society in Amouda
  63. Nujîn – Nujeen Association for Community Development
  64. PÊL- Civil Waves
  65. People for Human Development – PHD
  66. ROJ KAR – for Relief and Development
  67. SARA Organization to Combat Violence Against Women
  68. Shamal Charity Association
  69. SHAMS Organization
  70. Shar for Development
  71. Share for Community Development
  72. Shawishka Association
  73. Shaylan Association for Relief and Development
  74. Slav Center for Civic Activities
  75. Smile Organization
  76. Swaaed for Development
  77. Swaedna Organization for relief and Development
  78. Syrian Kurdish civil Forces Gathering
  79. Syrian Kurdish Journalists Network – SKJN
  80. Syrians for Truth and Justice-STJ
  82. The Civil Cooperation Team Organization
  83. The Four Seasons Organization
  84. TOTOL FOUNDATION for Relaif and Development
  85. Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria – VDCNSY
  86. Women for Peace Organization
  87. Xunav Association for Relief and Development
  88. Youth for Change
  89. Zakon Association – Komîteya Zagon

Art by: Mouneer Alshaarani