The UN deemed that “probable” on Wednesday. the humanitarian impact of the destruction of the Kajovka dam, in Ukraine, “will get worse in the coming hours” and that this seriously increases the health risks for local residents.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in his daily press briefing that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and five other agencies are assessing the damage and humanitarian response with local NGOs and authorities in Kherson, where the dam is located.

The overflow of the Kajovka dam It has flooded dozens of homes and more than 10,000 hectares of farmland on the western bank of the Dnieper River. which splits Kherson province in two and whose eastern bank is controlled by Russia.

“They tell us that disaster is likely Things will get worse in the coming hours as water levels continue to rise and more towns and villages are flooded. This will affect people’s access to essential services and seriously increase health risks,” he explained.

According to the International Organization for Migration, some 1,500 people – without specifying where – were forced to return on Tuesday. evacuated from their homes due to flooding and most reside in the nearby city of Mykolaiv, OCHA said in a statement.

More than 1,750 people have been evacuated from the hardest-hit areas on the west coast, according to the Ukrainian government, while on the Russian-occupied east coast, local authorities speak of more than 1,500 evacuees, with 50 towns between the two sides flooded.

The UN and its agencies thousands of bottles of water have been distributed in five towns in Kherson and Mykolaivwater purification tablets and essential supplies for children, as well as food for the newly evacuated people, OCHA said.

There the agency warned Hundreds of thousands of people depended on the Kajovka reservoir for drinking water and its level is “falling fast”a problem that adds to the potential contamination of water sources due to flooding.

‘The destruction of the dam, probably food security will be affectedas there were newly planted crops on the flooded surface and they also damaged not only the irrigation systems of the Kherson region but also those of Dnipro and Zaporizhia.

The flooded area is even greater on the eastern bank of the river, where the new Kakhovka hydroelectric power station was located, but Ukrainian authorities cannot provide an exact damage assessment as this part of Kherson province is occupied by Russia.

The spokesman noted that Martin Griffiths, the emergency response coordinator, told members of the Security Council that the destruction of the dam is “arguably the most significant incident of damage to civilian infrastructure” since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. (I)