Published: 14:30 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 18 July 2013
Barnabas helping to dig wells in Aleppo as fighting cripples essential supplies
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria
As the battle for Aleppo rages and the people are beset by crippling shortages of essential supplies, Barnabas is helping to dig wells in Christian areas to provide clean water for around 400,000 residents.
The besieged city’s water supply, along with other vital public services, has been disrupted as a result of the heavy fighting between President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and opposition fighters. Aleppo’s main pump was damaged last year, and the back-up one can supply only around half the demand, leaving many places without an adequate supply. Some areas receive water for only 10-12 hours twice a month.
|Life has ground to a halt in the key battleground city of Aleppo
Freedom House / CC BY 2.0
Our partners in Aleppo have devised a resourceful three-stage plan to overcome the problem: firstly, re-equipping existing water wells that are under-utilised; secondly, re-opening neglected wells; and thirdly, digging new wells in areas without one. Work is underway, with six wells already in operation.
Once the project is finished, there will be 14 wells, one in almost every Christian neighbourhood of the city. They will be situated on land belonging to a church, Christian school or other Christian institution, and will be available to the residents of those areas plus neighbouring communities.
|Aleppo has been ravaged by the fighting
Freedom House / CC BY 2.0
Aleppo has been at the heart of the battle between the government and the opposition over the last year. The city has consequently been brought to its knees with frequent power cuts, a shortage of essential supplies and soaring prices. The price of a kilo of bread has reached around US$8-10.
The situation has been severely aggravated this month by a blockade imposed by opposition fighters on the Bustan al-Qasr crossing, which links the rebel-controlled east and the government-controlled west, preventing the entry of food, baby milk and medicines to the latter side. Militants manning the checkpoint have opened fire on people protesting against the blockade and attacked them with knives, killing at least one person and injuring several others.
One of our partners in Aleppo said last week:
We are surrounded with complete blockage of all exits and entrances. So far, no more food, vegetables, meat and even fuel… How can we survive without His interference and help?
The crossing is now being opened sporadically, but supplies entering the government side are still extremely limited and too expensive for most people to buy.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
Ordinary life has become completely impossible in Aleppo, where each day is a struggle for survival. Our partners’ simple but effective plan to create 14 working wells in Aleppo could be the difference between life and death for hundreds of thousands of its beleaguered residents. The Christian community is especially vulnerable as the rebels look to advance their position in the city.
If you would like to help supply clean water to Christians in Aleppo, please send a donation to the Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032). using our secure server.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/1032 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- Give thanks for the completion of work on six water wells and pray that the others will be finished quickly.
- Pray that supplies will be allowed to enter all parts of Aleppo and will reach those in greatest need.
- Pray that the Lord will protect Christians in Aleppo, especially during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, when extremists can become even more hostile towards them.