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Nova Kakhovka dam, Ukraine
9 June 2023

Nova Kakhovka dam floods

World Vision is assessing the needs of those affected by flooding in Ukraine.

World Vision is assessing people’s needs in southern Ukraine as major flooding occurs following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.  

The 30-metre tall, two-mile-wide dam was breached on Tuesday 6 June, resulting in the flooding of hundreds of Ukrainian towns and villages. As of 8 June, more than 2,900 people (including 1,200 in Russian occupied territory) have been evacuated while 40,000 will need to leave their homes. There is deep concern for those in Russian-held areas. World Vision’s Chris Palusky says, "International aid agencies are not getting access to Russian-controlled territory." 

Hundreds have been rescued from their homes after flood waters engulfed their homes. A five-metre increased water level in the city of Kherson is expected to last up to seven days – but even after the floods recede, many people will need assistance. All in the middle of a war zone. 

Map showing flood damage in Ukraine

Sitting over the Dnipro River, Nova Kakhovka dam was on the frontline in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Built in the Soviet era, it was used to form the Kakhovka Reservoir, stretching 150 miles across the regions of Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Kherson.

Kakhovka Reservoir is one of the largest water sources in the country’s south, supplying water to around 700,000 people as well as being used for irrigation of crops and for cooling reactors at the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The loss of this water source could result in fields turning into "deserts as early as next year". Thankfully, there is no immediate danger at the nuclear plant.

The events of this week will no doubt further harm the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainian people, including children. In the immediate, lack of access to clean water poses a health risk.

World Vision partners in Ukraine will supply hygiene kits and drinking water to those affected by the flooding. World Vision will be monitoring and assessing people’s needs.

When disasters unfold, it is children who are the hardest hit, so our priority will be to keep them safe. With your support today, we will be able to provide children like those caught up in this emergency with essentials such as food, water and sanitation, as well as Safe Zones – safe spaces for them to play while their parents look for supplies.

Many refugee children across the world, including those from Ukraine, need your help today.

Learn more