NEW YORK, 8th January, 2017 (WAM) — Following two weeks with no access to running water for millions of people in and around Damascus due to ongoing fighting near the Syrian capital, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has raised the alarm over a potential increase in diarrheal diseases among children.

UNICEF also reported that children are taking on the burden of water collection for their families and that most children had walked at least half an hour to collect water from the nearest mosque or public water point. They waited in line for up to two hours in freezing temperatures.

So far, UNICEF and its partners have rehabilitated and equipped 120 wells in and around Damascus in order to provide a third of the residents’ daily water needs. As of 22nd December, those wells were the only source of water for the entire city. Following the cuts, UNICEF also provided generators and fuel in order to increase water production for 3.5 million people. This past week, daily water trucking resumed for 50 schools in Damascus to reach up to 30,000 children.