To our questions about estimated casualty numbers, the most common answer is: “A lot! On both sides!”. Exactly how many no one knows, because getting aid to the occupied territories is like asking the aggressor for an open day in his trenches. On the 11th of June, the Russians fired on a boat with civilians trying to cross the floodplain and seek help on the Ukrainian side (photos below). At least three people were killed.
The water is receding after the destruction of the Novaya Kakhovka dam. However, the wave of problems caused by the 6th of June disaster is still rising. Thunderstorms and intense rainfall are making it difficult to evacuate people from flooded areas. Drinking water is in short supply in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. The water from the floodplain is not only undrinkable, but also poisonous. The first cases of cholera have already been reported. More than 160,000 people in the Dnipropetrovsk region may soon run out of water.
For those who have managed to cross to the Ukrainian-controlled side of the Dnieper, we are providing first aid with food parcels and water. There is so much we can do at the moment, but it is important to remember that these are ‘double victims’. The aggressor has stripped them of their Ukrainian documents, handing them their own, Russian ones. They must undergo a repatriation process before they can claim full support from the Ukrainian authorities.
Throughout the flood-affected region, water is now the first and most urgent need for tens of thousands of people. Later will come more long-term and systemic support. We already know that because of what happened in Nova Kachovka, the next winter will be a challenge for tens of thousands of people. Today it is the lack of access to water, electricity and gas. In Kherson, more than 15,000 people have already been cut off from energy sources.
What can you do today? Firstly, DON’T FORGET that the war is ongoing, that its victims are not only those affected at the front and by shelling, but also people who will never be reached with aid. Secondly, TAKE ACTION. You can help those cut off from water sources in a very concrete way by donating a supply of water. One 2-litre bottle is PLN 2.5. We want to send 10 000 litres of water to the site as soon as possible, which means we need 500 people to donate just PLN 25 today.
There are enough of us here to show, in a place where evil has won for a while, that good does not give up and that there is more of it in this world.