When people flee their homes, they often struggle to safely and easily access adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, endangering their health and survival. Our Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes ensure the delivery of water and sanitation services to millions of people in camps, outside of camps and in urban settings.
Accessible and adequate WASH interventions have positive effects on:
Safe drinking water, environments free from excreta, access to soap, and sufficient water for handwashing and laundering are scientifically proven interventions that reduce the number of deaths associated with diarrheal diseases.
Long distances to water points can put young girls and women at risk of sexual violence.
A woman drawing 80 litres of water for her family from a well and carrying it to their home 200 metres away (often uphill from the well) uses approximately 17 per cent of the standard ration of 2,100 Kcal/day just to accomplish this task.
42 per cent of children attending school in one Ugandan refugee camp had their schooling interrupted due to water collection.
Food security and livelihoods
Women who spend their time collecting water are missing opportunities to participate in more productive activities.
Non-sustainable usage of water resources can potentially over exploit groundwater resources.