Water is the latest battleground in Syria
by Eliza Mackintosh, originally posted on January 3, 2017
(CNN)Nour, a housewife in Damascus, says the latest joke in the Syrian capital is also a prayer of sorts: “May the gold you hold become water.”
It is a half-hearted attempt to make light of a water crisis that is impacting millions in Damascus, a city that has been relatively sheltered from the violence raging elsewhere in the country.
Nour said that her family just got water on Tuesday morning, after four days without access. Her family quickly lined up to use the shower and she switched on the washing machine. Now, when she hears the sound of the water motor running, she says it is “like a wedding.”
“When the water comes, it’s the same joy as a mom having a boy after 10 daughters,” Nour said. She did not feel comfortable sharing her last name with CNN.
Some four million people in Damascus have suffered from acute water shortages for more than a week after springs outside the Syrian capital were targeted, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on December 29.
Water from the Wadi Barada and Ain al-Fija springs, which serve 70 percent of the population in and around Damascus, was cut after infrastructure was damaged in fierce clashes. OCHA described the damages as “deliberate,” without saying who was responsible.
Syrian government and opposition trade blame