Stories of those who left Aleppo - Mansour
“My grandchildren, aged between 3 and 12, have practically known nothing but this war,” says Mansour, 65. This resident of Al-Bab had to flee the city located 40 kilometres northeast of Aleppo with his family of ten, when fighting became unbearable and living conditions deteriorated dramatically.
Food prices shot up, medical aid became a luxury, and the dim-sighted man lost many relatives and friends in the war. Life in Aleppo, where the family has relocated seven months ago, is a little better since fighting has stopped, but access to basic services remains a challenge.
At the beginning of the year, nearly 2 million people in Aleppo were left without drinking water, as the main source located at the Euphrates River was under ISIS control. Though the Syrian army and its allies took control of the Al-Khafseh plant on the Euphrates in early March, the water quantities Aleppo gets daily do not cover needs. Frequent power cuts, low pressure of pumped water, damages to the infrastructure, and lack of water tanks at the household level are putting pressure on families who have to fetch water in jerry cans, sometimes from faraway public wells.
“Because of my dim eyesight, I can’t do much. So it’s my grandchildren’s job to provide water for the whole family, and make the daily trek to public wells and back,’’ Mansour said.
To store water, Syrians who have been displaced from their homes rely on old tanks with cracked walls or open containers which means that they become susceptible to waterborne diseases. To reduce this burden and ensure that people have safe water, Oxfam installed more than 450 water tanks, in several homes in Aleppo, including Mansour’s.
Photo credit: Oxfam/SARC