Humanitarian Aid, Red Cross to Basra

  1. International Red Cross workers risking their lives to help civilians without water.
    http://www.edinburghnews.com/
    Published on Monday, March 24, 2003 by the Edinburgh Evening Herald (Scotland)

    Basra Facing Disaster After Supplies Cut

    An unidentified Iraqi man holds an unidentified girl wounded after U.S.-led coalition air attacks over the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Saturday March 22, 2003. (AP Photo/Nabil)
    WATER and electricity have been cut off in the southern Iraqi city of Basra for more than two days, threatening a humanitarian disaster, it was claimed today.
    The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that neither supply has been available since Friday, potentially crippling hospitals and services in the area.
    Electricity cables powering the major Wafa al-Quaid water station - which supplies two million people and is the biggest source in the region - have been destroyed.
    The ICRC said the station was under the control of the US-led forces and negotiations were on-going to try to set up emergency generators until the cables were repaired.
    Florian Westphal of the ICRC said: "Sixty per cent of the local population are still without access to a regular water supply - this could develop into a humanitarian crisis.
    "We are really, really going to try and gain access to the supply and do anything we can to repair it."
    Mr Westphal confirmed that the situation in Basra was currently the organization's main priority, although the humanitarian situation in Baghdad was being closely monitored.
    Earlier, Roland Huguenin Benjamin, from the ICRC in Baghdad, said the lack of water in Basra was causing serious concern to medical administrators.
    "There is no water running," he said. "People will very soon be without the possibility of operating in hospitals or anything else for that matter.
    "It is a humanitarian emergency that they should be given access to clear water. We definitely need to be able to send our engineers in there as soon as possible."
    2003 scotsman.com
    •  
  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://society.guardian.co.uk/disast...920934,00.html
    Iraqi city suffers water shortage

    David Batty
    Monday March 24, 2003

    The Red Cross today warned of an imminent humanitarian disaster in Iraq's second city of Basra, as the aid agency struggled to restore water supplies destroyed in the war.
    Most of the city has been without water and electricity since Friday, which has been threatening hospitals and sanitation services in the area, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
    The ICRC's spokesman, Florian Westphal, said that tackling the situation in Basra was now its top priority.
    He said: "We have not been able to gain access to the main water station today so we will try and do the same thing tomorrow.
    "Sixty per cent of the local population are still without access to a regular water supply - this could develop into a humanitarian crisis.
    "We are really, really going to try and gain access to the supply and do anything we can to repair it."
    The UN's children's aid agency Unicef said that 100,000 children under the age of five are at risk of dehydration and diseases such as diarrhoea due to the lack of clean water.
    Yesterday the US president, George Bush, pledged that "massive amounts of humanitarian aid should begin to get moving in the next 36 hours" in the wake of the allied ground offensive in southern Iraq.
    Meanwhile, British military sources have denied reports that as many as 77 civilians have died in the battle for Basra already - the highest figures anywhere in the war so far.
    TV channel al-Jazeera yesterday showed harrowing pictures of a young boy with the back of his head blown off, apparently a civilian victim of coalition bombing of the city, and scenes of bloodied people being treated on the floor of a hospital.
    Electricity supplies for the region's main water station in Wafa al-Quaid, 20km north-east of Basra, have been destroyed during heavy fighting between coalition forces and local militia.
    The ICRC said the station, which supplied two million people, was under allied control and negotiations were underway to set up emergency generators.
    Roland Huguenin Benjamin, based with the ICRC team in Baghdad, told the BBC World Service: "People will very soon be without the possibility of operating in hospitals or anything else for that matter.
    "It is a humanitarian emergency that they should be given access to clean water."
    ICRC engineers and technicians managed to restore clean water supplies to 40% of Basra on Saturday after reconnecting several treatment plants to the Shatt el-Arab river.
    But the aid agency stressed that this was "obviously an emergency measure".
  4. by   Mkue
    To think all of this could have been avoided if SH would have complied or surrendered. Very sad but not surprising choice he has made for his people.
  5. by   Q.
    Rock on, Marie.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Rock on, Marie.
    ?
  7. by   fergus51
    It's easier than commenting on the humanitarian issues (and true enough). Red Cross has always been one of my favorite organizations, even after the 9/11 hoopla.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by fergus51
    It's easier than commenting on the humanitarian issues (and true enough). Red Cross has always been one of my favorite organizations, even after the 9/11 hoopla.
    Thank you, Fergus.
    I summoned the courage to say:
    CHEERS TO THE RED CROSS!
    Those are people with courage.
  9. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by mkue
    To think all of this could have been avoided if SH would have complied or surrendered. Very sad but not surprising choice he has made for his people.
    We wouldn't have this issue if not for the above statement. That is my response/comment to the article. I am allowed to post.
  10. by   Tilleycs
    Red Cross has always been one of my favorite organizations, even after the 9/11 hoopla.
    Unfortunately, I do not feel the same way any more. I wish I could trust them, but I can't. They won't get a dime from me. Maybe another organization, but not the Red Cross.
  11. by   emily_mom
    Originally posted by mkue
    To think all of this could have been avoided if SH would have complied or surrendered. Very sad but not surprising choice he has made for his people.
    ITA. :kiss
  12. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by Tilleycs
    Unfortunately, I do not feel the same way any more. I wish I could trust them, but I can't. They won't get a dime from me. Maybe another organization, but not the Red Cross.
    I'm sorry to say I feel the same way.
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Tilleycs
    Unfortunately, I do not feel the same way any more. I wish I could trust them, but I can't. They won't get a dime from me. Maybe another organization, but not the Red Cross.
    I worry about how the Red Cross uses money. There have been isolated but serious reports of badly screened blood.
    Please tell me if there is another reason to distrust them.
  14. by   fergus51
    I wasn't trying to be pi$$y or anything marie (thus the true enough part of the sentence)

close