Muslim Aid has warned that the mass graves the flood-stricken Libyan areas of Derna and in coastal regions could enrage cases of water-borne diseases amongst victims of the disaster.
The United Nations on Monday announced that at least 1,000 victims of Storm Daniel have been buried in mass graves as Libya grapples with the escalating environmental crisis. The floods have devastated communities, displacing thousands of people and causing substantial damage to infrastructure and sanitation systems.
With the mass graves located in proximity to flooded areas, the risk of water contamination and subsequent disease outbreaks is of serious concern.
“Mass graves and hundreds of bodies in Derna and in coastal areas can potentially contaminate water supplies. In this backdrop, the biggest risk to survivors is emerging from contaminated water supplies that they are relying on to drink”, says Asif Shahab, Muslim Aid’s Humanitarian Programmes Manager.
“There is a growing panic that Derna will be infected with an epidemic resulting from a heavy number of bodies under the rubble and in the water. There is an extensive collapsing of sanitation and water treatment services. In case this happens, diseases could spread quickly in the shape of cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid etc”, he added.
Part of Muslim Aid’s response plan to the devastating floods in Libya is to deliver clean water and hygiene kits to alleviate the multilateral risk of water contamination.