Restoring Water Supply to Thousands Living by the Frontline

DCA/NCA supports the rebuilding of critical infrastructure destroyed or damaged by the war

© Rasmus Emil Gravesen

DCA Ukraine

The Issue

The ongoing war in Ukraine has had devastating consequences for civilian life and infrastructure in the southern regions of the country. In Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblasts, months of ongoing shelling and aerial bombardment has resulted in severe humanitarian needs, as well as extensive destruction of power and water infrastructure, overwhelming local actors’ ability to respond. The direct attacks on critical power and water infrastructure have exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities in the south of Ukraine, deprived the population of basic water services, created public health risk, and stalled civilian returns to liberated areas.

Furthermore, despite the influx of international support for the crisis in the south, significant needs and gaps persist, and community-level responders remain largely disconnected from the flow of international aid. Cumbersome due diligence procedures, limited access to coordination structures, and lack of awareness on available funding mechanisms have meant that many of these actors (and the communities themselves) are often unable to secure resources to sustain and expand response capacities. At the same time, larger and more established national NGOs struggle to scale up as their internal capacities are challenged by growing humanitarian needs.

The Project

The project aims to deliver urgent support for water, sanitation, shelter, and non-food items such as coal and firewood for the winter. DCA/NCA will repair damaged water systems in rural conflict areas or install new ones based on community needs. DCA/NCA will also undertake light repairs on damaged shelters, while distributing basic necessities to vulnerable households.

DCA/NCA will, through cash transfers to local initiatives of up to 10,000 USD, bridge existing gaps. The project plans to fund at least 30 community-driven crisis response initiatives using Group Cash Transfers, a flexible and swift support system near conflict zones.

The initiatives seek to bolster local response capabilities, address immediate humanitarian needs identified by local partners, ensure safe returns, and channel resources to grassroots organizations often overlooked by international aid.

The Change

The project aims to reach over 20,000 non-displaced and returnee persons through the construction of three new centralized water supply systems that will feed in the public network, as well as the repair and upgrade of three damaged water supply schemes. Support will be provided to the relevant local authorities in each location to operate and maintain the water supply systems safely and effectively.

This will restore water supply to a population that has lacked an effective water supply since the full-scale invasion broke out, as explosions have damaged the water supply. Restoring water supply in Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblast is essential for saving lives, protecting public health, and promoting stability and recovery in affected communities.

Providing cash transfers to community-driven initiatives is an effective and empowering approach to humanitarian response, promoting efficiency, flexibility, resilience, and social cohesion.

Our Partner

DCA/NCA works with Southern Development Strategy (SDS) to implement the project. SDS has a long history of operating in Southern Ukraine. Prior to the war, SDS’ co-founder operated a large construction company in Kherson, and the organization maintains a strong backbone in procurement, logistics, and engineering. 

This project at hand builds upon SDS’ ongoing programming in southern Oblasts focused on municipal gas and water infrastructure repair. SDS also possesses deep relations with local authorities and communities in this region, with a built-in network of community partners making it easier to find and support community-driven initiatives.

Our Work

DCA/NCA works in Ukraine to empower individuals and communities to enhance their resilience in the face of the diverse and devastating impacts of war. Our focus is on assisting communities in mitigating risks, adapting to challenges, and connecting long-term development efforts with emergency responses. We foster self-confidence, trust, and community cohesion.

By restoring the water supply and supporting vulnerable people with heating, we are also saving lives in Ukraine and improving living conditions. Ultimately, this enables safe civilian returns to and safer living in areas close to the frontline

About the project

Full title: Enhance local capacity and provide emergency Cash Assistance, WASH and Shelter/NFIs in rural areas close to the frontline in Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblast

Period: September 2023 – September 2024

Partner: Southern Development Strategy (SDS)

Funding: USD 1,268,257

Expected number of people reached: 20,743 non-displaced and returnee persons

Main Donor: Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF)

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