Over 100 villages in Syrian regime-held Aleppo province suffering chronic water shortages
Over 100 villages and towns in regime-held areas of Aleppo province do not have access to drinking water, residents have told The New Arab's Arabic language service.
The affected areas in southern Aleppo province - which is under the control of the Syrian regime and Iranian militias - have suffered from a lack of drinking water for over six years, despite the regime's promises to solve the issue.
Many of the areas lack water transport networks. Once functioning networks in other affected areas were destroyed during fighting between the Syrian regime and opposition forces throughout the ongoing civil war - which entered its 12th year this week.
"More than 120 villages and towns in the southern and southeastern countryside of Aleppo do not have access to drinking water, as well as dozens of villages in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo, forcing residents to buy water from far areas," Ali Al-Mahdi, a resident in the province, told The New Arab's Arabic language service.
Civilians living in affected areas have resorted to fetching "water by tankers from remote areas located on the Euphrates River or villages that contain private artesian wells", according to agricultural engineer Farid Obeid, who says the issue has persisted due to the "regime's neglect of its residents".
"When complaints are submitted, residents receive nothing but empty promises without any serious action from the regime's government on the ground," Obeid told The New Arab's Arabic language service.
The engineer says the ongoing issue has caused many residents to leave the area.
Residents also say the Syrian regime "always finds excuses" to justify the water shortage, blaming the crisis on "terrorists" and accusing them of destroying water networks and equipment designated for wells.
"These excuses have been going on for more than three years, knowing that the region is currently devoid of saboteurs and terrorists, so why did the regime not repair what they destroyed during this period?" Ahmed, who lives in the province's southwest said.
Water tank prices may rise if the price of fuel increases with a 5,000 litre water tank already reaching 40,000 Syrian pounds ($11.42), equivalent to the monthly salary of a regime government worker.
Earlier this week, Syrians filled the streets of Idlib - the last major area of Syria to be held by the opposition - to commemorate the revolution's 11th anniversary.