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Clean water in Somalia

THE CHALLENGE

Many people in Somalia have only precarious access to basic services such as water and sanitation. Armed conflict and other violence, exacerbated by natural disasters, have led to massive displacements, chronic food insecurity and the loss of livelihoods. Diseases and malnutrition are prevalent because the country’s infrastructure, particularly its water supply systems and health facilities, has been severely damaged by over two decades of conflict. 

 

THE APPROACH

In emergencies such as Somalia’s, the ICRC helps people directly affected by armed conflict, other situations of violence and/or natural disaster, including the displaced, by providing basic shelter in urban areas and trucking emergency water rations for up to two weeks. It also remains ready to deliver water rations and chlorine tablets to primary health care clinics for up to four weeks.

 

GOALS AND EXPECTED IMPACT

In addition to the emergency aid just described, the ICRC has used this Swiss Re Foundation grant to help needy Somali communities access clean water for themselves and their livestock by constructing wells and boreholes and providing equipment and training to borehole operators and community technicians in how to maintain the systems. Livestock-rearing households in conflict- and drought-affected areas are also able raise healthier herds thanks to the support of ICRC-rehabilitated veterinary clinics. Finally, the organisation is carrying out cash-for-work projects in which community members construct or rehabilitate rainwater catchments.

International Committee of the Red Cross

partner

The ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people affected by conflict and armed violence and to promote the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

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