Official concerned about spread of epidemics among Western Mosul residents

Displaced Iraqis who had fled their homes reach to get water before entering at Hammam al-Alil camp south of Mosul, Iraq April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Mosul ( An Iraqi official has warned against spread contagious epidemics among residents in the western side of Mosul.

In remarks on Tuesday, Ghazwan Hamed, head of the Nineveh provincial council’s human rights committee, expressed concerns over “reports on the human and hygiene situation among residents in Western Mosul, which is still under the Islamic State control.”

“Most of the people drink from surface wells, which are unfit for human consumption, while others boil the rain waters using primitive methods to drink or use it in cooking,” he added.

Hamed also warned against “spread of contagious diseases and epidemics among the residents due to the bad drinking water and malnutrition.”

“Several civilians besieged in western Mosul eat tree leaves from their house gardens as they ran out of food,” Hamed said.

The United Nations estimated that up to 800,000 civilians were living in western districts of Mosul when Iraqi troops launched an offensive in February to drive IS out of the western part of the city.

On Monday, Iraqi Minister of Migration and Displacement said that number of the displaced from western Mosul since operations launched in February to retake that region went up to 281,630 persons.

More than 320,000 residents were displaced since the Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, launched the offensive in October to retake Mosul from Islamic State, UN declared earlier this week.

More than 400.000 were displaced due to the conflict in Mosul since operations were launched in October.

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