Shelters and basements... the only escape from death in Eastern Ghouta

Shelters and basements... the only escape from death in Eastern Ghouta
Hot events | 23 Feb 2018

Underground individual and domestic refuges in the countryside of Damascus have become the only escape for the residents of Eastern Ghouta in which civilians would take refuge in the opposition-controlled areas, which are being exposed to the fiercest campaign carried out by the Syrian regime.

For several days, Ghouta has been subjected to heavy bombardment by Russian and Syrian aircrafts as part of the regime's drive to expel the opposition factions that have been controlling the area for several years, killing nearly 400 people, including dozens of children.

In a voice message which has been broadcasted within the news hour of Rozana radiostation, Dr. Fayez Orabi, who is currently in Eastern Ghouta, described the situation in Eastern Ghouta as "disastrous," since the basements in which most of the residents of Ghouta are staying lack the most basic living conditions, as they are originally warehouses for buildings which lack air, electricity, water, and bathroom facilities."

Rozana’s correspondent, Khalid Abu Jaafar, said that "The residents of Eastern Ghouta spend most of their time inside refuges or basements, for fear the continuous bombing. The streets have become deserted except from ambulances and civil defence teams."

In his report during the news hour, Rozana’s correspondent added that "The rice, whose price per kilogram has been up to 2,500 Syrian liras during the siege period, is totally lacking now. Some people have been trapped without food for several days.
According to Khalid, the rainfall in Damascus have caused leaks in some of the basements and tunnels that are dug under the buildings, which led to high levels of water in some and made them dirty and muddy.

He pointed out that the bombing has led to the closure of shops, which led to an almost total lack of food in the region, as the price of one kilogram of rice, is available, reaches 10 thousand Syrian liras. Adding to that, most of the bakeries have become out of service, including Al-Manfush bakery, in the village of Mesraba, which has been distributing bread to most of the cities and towns of Eastern Ghouta.

Khalid added that at the beginning of its military campaign, the Syrian regime focused on the bombing of hospitals and medical points. As a result, more than 25 medical points have become out of service in one week, in conjunction with a large drain of emergency medicaments.

One of the women who took shelter in a home basement with her children in Duma complained saying: "We no longer have a place to live but refuges, which lack health, service and living necessities." The woman also complained about the presence of open toilets inside the basements and the spread of unpleasant odors which warns of the spread of diseases with the presence of a large number of children.

According to Washington Post newspaper, what makes Ghouta different from the rest of the Syrian areas is the fact that it is besieged and that it is not possible for aids to reach it.  The international forces involved in the battle in Syria do not have much interest in the area, which has a population of 350,000.

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