Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Water Tankers Are The Swimming Pools in Homs’ Northern Countryside

Features | 2017-07-09 21:21:59
Water Tankers Are The Swimming Pools in Homs’ Northern Countryside
(Eqtsad) In the heat of summer, and with the temperature rising to over 40 degrees Celsius in Homs province, swimming pools become a refuge and necessity to counter the heat wave. There are no regular swimming pools in the villages, towns and cities of Homs’ besieged northern countryside, but there several cement water tanks which were used to water olive groves in summer before 2011. These have now become swimming pools frequented by the children and youths of Homs’ besieged countryside. 

During its tour in the countryside of Homs, Eqtsad’s team noticed that these swimming pools lack even the most basic conditions essential to regular swimming pools especially chlorine to sterilize the water. 

Eqtsad’s reporter in the area confirmed that the ground tanks have become income generating projects where people pay between 200-300 Syrian Lira for two hours. The reporter added that these water pools witness an unprecedented large turnout this summer. 

In their visit to the sites, the team noticed that most of the youths and children frequenting the pools are unaware of the diseases that can be transmitted in the water of swimming pools. These issues are exacerbated since the pools lack many of the heath conditions necessary in the absence of health monitors. 

Speaking to Eqtsad, Maher, who frequents one of these pools in the countryside of Homs said, “because of the siege and the daily bombing for 7 years, the youths and children in Homs’ northern countryside find their refuge in these water tanks, they do not ask about the cleanliness of the water or if it is sterilized or how many times the water is changed per week.” Maher added that he has never suffered any medical problems since he started frequenting the pools. 

Osama, who loves swimming, sees that the main motive for him to go swimming is the heat wave that has hit Homs countryside this year. He added that swimming is a pleasant sport, good for the body, and it is a way to have a good time with friends and get away from the atmosphere of bombing and destruction. 
An Ideal Environment for Diseases 

There is no doubt that the swimming pools are an ideal environment for the transfer of diseases via the bacteria that swimmers swallow along with the water since the water is not sterilized with chlorine. Doctor Abdullah, an internal medicine specialist, said, “Not sterilizing the water causes several skin diseases and allergies, eye infections and other diseases.”

Doctor Abdullah recommended that those frequenting the swimming pools in Homs’ northern countryside no swallow any water while they are swimming and take a shower the minute they arrive home to preserve their health.

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