A Desperate Situation in Mykolaiv
Updated: Aug 5, 2022
"Water has become priceless" as residents rely on sewage-contaminated tap water, rivers and even ditch water to survive.
Just a few days after the Russian invasion, the southwestern capital of Mykolaiv became a hub for Ukraine’s regional defenses. After Russia quickly occupied Kherson in late February, Mykolaiv became its next target. Russian forces bombed, shelled, and fired missiles at the city, trying to surround it. By the end of March, Ukraine’s forces had pushed the invaders back to the border with Kherson Oblast, but more than four months later the city is still under constant attack.
“Out of 148 days of war,” said mayor Alexander Senkevich in a July 25th interview, “there have been 21 days when we have not been bombarded.”
Since then, the shelling has continued almost every day. Most businesses are shut down, and the ports aren’t operational due to Russia's Black Sea blockade. Worse yet, the city’s water pipeline was damaged beyond repair in April, leaving Mykolaiv without a supply of potable water since.
"The centralized supply of water has been cut off, it’s a humanitarian catastrophe for a city of half a million people" said Dmytro Davydenko, a coordinator at the largest volunteer center in Mykolaiv. "Water has become priceless."
The city is now pumping brackish, saline water to wash and supply toilets, but the only drinking water comes from trucks that arrive every few days with water tanks. Residents must line up to gather the rationed water in containers to carry home.
The scarcity of potable water poses a major public health risk, which has increased dramatically as summer temperatures drive accelerated bacteria growth. Trucked water can only serve so many, leaving most residents to use unimproved water sources like streams, rivers and ponds for their drinking water. And with summer temperatures causing increased bacterial growth, disease and death from contamination are continuing to rise.
Water filters are needed to save lives in Mykolaiv
During our last Water for All deployment trip to Ukraine, we were introduced to some incredible people coordinating humanitarian aid for Mykolaiv and the surrounding regions. They witnessed the impact of our water filters in small numbers, and are now begging us to return with many thousands more. One such contact is Anastasia Todorova, the Deputy Head of Humanitarian Administration for Mykolaiv, who told us this:
"We are surrounded by water, but if we drink it we die, and if we don't drink it we die," said Anastasia Todorov, Deputy Head of Humanitarian Headquarters in Mykolaiv. "That is our choice now. This is why we urgently need your water filters for our people. "
Anastasia sent us an official plea signed by her chief officer in the region, requesting 10,000 of our filters immediately (see the official letter below). Anastasia stressed to us directly that while her administration falls under the military administration, her team is entirely focused on serving the needs of the citizens of Mykolaiv.
This is just one of many such requests. Our Ukrainian partners at Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and Young Life, who are actively deploying aid into Mykolaiv, have also asked us urgently to bring as many filters as we can... as soon as we can. Our messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Sykpe are constantly pinging with requests and pleas from our friends and connections in the surrounding regions.
The time to act is now! We can bring safe water and the living Word to the people of Mykolaiv in their time of greatest need.
We are praying for 10,000 water filters to Mykolaiv!
In response to this urgent need, Water for All is prayerfully asking for 10,000 water filter systems to be donated toward this urgent effort. We are stepping out in faith to organize a trip in mid August directly into this war-torn city to bring an initial allotment (as many as we can) and to train volunteers and organizers there to receive and distribute the rest as they arrive. We will post a follow up blog specifically about about this trip very soon. In the meantime, we need your help.
Please consider supporting this urgent need now!
Each $65 donation sends one Vivoblu CORE Family 0.1 Micron Water Filtration system along with our custom Water Bag-Pak, a 10L rugged water bladder that can be hung or used as a backpack (you can read more about the water bag here ). These systems each serve the needs of an entire family or group of 5-20 people, and last for years. How many families in need will you help today?