Safe water and hygiene
© UNICEF Bangladesh/2007/Noorani
An adolescent girl uses a water purification tablet from UNICEF because Cyclone Sidr destroyed all clean water sources in her village, Barisal division.
Seasonal flooding and the tidal surges that accompany a cyclone destroy latrines and contaminate water sources with waste and salt water. UNICEF assists families whose access to safe water is compromised.
UNICEF works with the Government to provide safe drinking water to communities whose wells have been destroyed or contaminated. Mobile treatment plants, water-purification tablets, and the drilling and repair of tube wells help communities to re-establish access to safe water.
UNICEF provides information on how people can repair and rebuild their own latrines and tube wells. Selected ultra-poor families receive all the materials needed to construct new latrines.
Hygiene promoters run sessions with local women to ensure that they understand the increased health and hygiene risks that can follow a disaster situation. They encourage people to boil water properly and wash their hands with soap. UNICEF provides soap and cloths for cleaning and menstrual hygiene management to these families.
Preparing for emergenciesCoordinating relief
UNICEF stockpiles emergency supplies – such as water purification tablets, bleaching powder, jerry cans, soap and cloths – around the country with the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE).
UNICEF, in coordination with DPHE, leads the relief effort in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Managing the response ensures that:
- people most in need receive aid first
- no two agencies or NGOs duplicate relief activities in the same area
- the development community is fully prepared to provide comprehensive water and sanitation support.