Elok Water Station meets the water supply needs of more than 1.5 million people, especially in Al Hasakah (Hesekê), Al Hol Camp, Erîşe Camp, and Waşokanî Camp of North and Eastern Syria. Built on the Euphrates, the station is now under the control of Turkey and its mercenaries and sponsored and supported militias. After Turkey and its mercenaries occupied Serekaniye in 2019, they took over Elok Water Station.
This is not the first time that the people in the region have faced this threat: Turkey has cut off the water supply on several previous occasions. Hesekê Canton Water Directorate co-chair Sozdar Ehmed spoke to ANHA and appealed to international organisations to take urgent action over the matter.
“Turkey claims that they cut the water supply off due to a lack of electricity but we do not believe them: it is a part of war politics”, she said. “Villagers, especially the farmers, are suffering a lot from that. Farmers can only use 5% of the water”, she added. Ehmed called upon international organisations to urgently intervene over the matter to prevent a possible catastrophe.
In the meantime, drinking water pumps were disabled in Tebqa and its villages due to the lowering of the water level of the River Euphrates. Now, Tebqa Water Directorate distributes drinking water to the people using fire trucks, with the support of the municipality. However, Tabqa Water Union co-chair Hemud El Şêx says these are only temporary solutions. “If the water level continues to be lowered, all the water pumps will be disabled and thousands of people will have no access to water”, he cautioned.
Turkey has been blocking Euphrates water since November 2020 and does not comply with the 1987 agreement between Turkey, Syria and Iraq since it provides Syria with only 200 cubic metres of water per second instead of 500 cubic metres per second, according to the agreement. For this reason, there is a serious decrease in the water of three dams in Northern and Eastern Syria.
The water cuts also threaten the ecosystems of the region. The deputy co-chair of the Fishermen Union in Raqqa confirmed that the Euphrates River has lost fish species due to the significant decline in the water level.