Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
On 2 September, the new school year started in Ukraine. UNICEF positively noted that even in areas along the Contact Line where shelling and shooting around schools have been a daily reality, all boys and girls have successfully started formal learning. Unfortunately however, the Education Cluster recorded four security incidents resulting in damages to operating schools, all located in the Non-Government Controlled Area (NGCA). No casualties were reported, but school buildings were damaged and windows were shattered because of the blasts. In two cases, the educational facilities were temporary closed. In total, 32 incidents have been recorded in 2019, two times more than for the whole of 2018.
In Luhanska NGCA, on 28 September, 5 children (aged 7 to 13 years) were injured after finding an arms cache in the forest and accidentally detonating a hand grenade. All the children were transported immediately to nearby medical facilities to receive medical treatment, and one of them had to be further referred for eye surgery.
The month of September had the third most WASH-related incidents targeting water infrastructure in 2019, with 11 recorded compared to 12 such incidents in June and 18 in May. Comparatively, in July and August, there were eight incidents in total. Worryingly, staff of one pumping station were forced to put out a fire themselves, while under shellfire, as emergency services were unable to reach the location. In doing so, they saved the water supply for 1.1 million people.
In the first nine months of 2019, there were 77 incidents compared to 68 during the same period last year (a 13% increase). To date, there have been a total of 369 WASH incidents recorded by the WASH cluster since 2016.