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Investigation Uncovers Link between Damascus Vegetables and Cholera and Cancer

Crowds in Yarmouk camp waiting to receive food aid, February 2014 (archive)
Crowds in Yarmouk camp waiting to receive food aid, February 2014 (archive)
A thorough investigation has brought to light the contamination of vegetables consumed by residents of Damascus. Samples taken from these vegetables were analyzed in both private and official laboratories, revealing alarming findings. The investigation further unveils the distressing reality that farmers in rural Damascus rely on polluted sewage water for irrigating crops, which are then sold in local markets.

On September 6, 2022, the Syrian Ministry of Health reported the first case of cholera in the city of Aleppo. This outbreak was directly linked to the consumption of vegetables that had been watered with contaminated sewage water, as well as the consumption of drinking water that had been tainted by sewage. According to a joint report by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), cholera rapidly spread across most governorates, resulting in the tragic loss of 100 lives throughout Syria.

The global status report on the disease, published by the World Health Organization, indicates that since the initial announcement of the cholera outbreak on August 25, 2022, a staggering 77,561 suspected cases of infection have been recorded in Syria up until February 11, 2023. Furthermore, the early warning program has identified a worrisome 99,902 suspected cases in northwestern Syria alone, up until July 22, 2023.