UNICEF brings safe water and sanitation to families affected by floods and mud flows in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan - 30 June 2009
Over the last two and a half months, UNICEF has been working to address the immediate humanitarian and long-term recovery needs of families affected by multiple floods and mud flows in Tajikistan. It is estimated that heavy continuous rainfalls from early April till the beginning of June displaced over 15,000 people in more than 40 districts and towns across the country.
Following rapid assessments of the situation on the ground, UNICEF has concentrated its immediate response efforts on Khuroson District in Khatlon Province, the worst-hit area where two major mud flows destroyed four villages, displacing about 440 families.
“Safe drinking water and sanitation facilities are the affected families’ most pressing need,” said Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan. “Without drinking water and sanitation, diarrhoea and water-borne diseases spread quickly, affecting significantly the lives of children and women.”
UNICEF provided displaced families in two temporary resettlement camps in Khuroson District with water tank kits, chlorine powder (500 kg), water purification tablets (11,700 pieces), jerry cans (200 pieces) and soap (950 bars). UNICEF also sent a large shipment of water purification tablets and jerry cans to families affected by mud flows in Nurobod District. As the displaced families in Khuroson District moved to new permanent settlements, UNICEF has funded the construction of temporary washing facilities and latrines in these settlements.
To address the most pressing nutrition needs of affected children in Khuroson District, UNICEF has provided 3,000 sachets of Plumpy Nut high-protein therapeutic food and about 1,300 kg of high-protein biscuits. In addition, local non-governmental organisations in Khuroson District as well as in the districts of Panj, Qumsangir and Nurobod have been mobilised to conduct a hygiene education campaign, including distribution of chlorine tablets and dissemination of basic hygiene messages among the displaced families.
UNICEF also leads the response of other international development partners and non-governmental organisations in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Education clusters. UNICEF has prepared a local WASH cluster appeal on emergency provision of safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation among families affected by floods and mud flows. In the Education cluster, UNICEF works to mobilize partners to assist the Government in ensuring that affected children in the districts of Khuroson, Panj, Qumsangir and Rudaki have access to and are ready for school when the new academic year begins in September.
“As the country continues to experience heavy rainfalls, UNICEF will closely monitor the situation on the ground and, where needed, will assist the Government of Tajikistan in addressing the most pressing water and sanitation, education, health and nutrition needs of the affected families, particularly those of children and women,” said Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan. “I hope that the Government of Tajikistan will not only provide the immediate emergency response but also support long-term rehabilitation to ensure children’s survival and development, quality education, care and protection.”
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