The Ukraine Report: Dam breach affects village, residents brace for disaster consequences

We are getting a closer look at a farming village in Ukraine that was devastated by a dam breach earlier this month.

Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage.

Our work sometimes looks like this. We are in the village of Afanasiivka in the Mykolayiv region. The water in the nearby lakes and the Ingulets River rose by 4 meters and flooded more than a dozen houses.

“Are you in the village?”

“Yes, we want to look at our house, it was flooded above the roof. We are afraid that the ceiling has fallen.”

Our film crew goes with the family of local resident Oleksandr Komarenko to his flooded house.

“On the first day, the water rose, but not critically. The second day I was at work, my wife called at 11 o’clock and said: Come home, because things are very serious. I arrived, and the water had already gone over the dam and began to take over the houses.”

To get to the house, you need to walk waist-deep in water. Unfortunately, we could only shoot with a phone.

“We lived like in paradise until the damned Russians came. Look what happened to our house. There was a ceiling here, and here we slept until recently. We’ve been through the occupation, the hostilities, and now the flood. What’s next?”

Tetyana, an employee of the village council, tells how 75 houses in the village were critically flooded.

At first, there was still an opportunity for a bus to pass. First of all, sick people and elderly people were evacuated. Then, when everything flooded, local residents had to be transported by boat and transferred across a pontoon bridge. After that, cows and other animals were already evacuated.

The water in Afanasiivka is already receding, but both those who lost their homes and the whole of Ukraine will have to deal with the consequences of this disaster for a long time.

That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.