Water and sanitation in homes and communities
Millions of children in our region suffer the consequences of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene in their homes and communities. Every year, approximately 187,000 children in our region die from diarrhoeal diseases. More than 420 million children in China and South-East Asia have parasitic infections, which can lead to developmental problems if left untreated.
UNICEF in Action
UNICEF in ActionUNICEF believes homes and communities are the starting point for improving water quality, sanitation and hygiene, and reducing child deaths from diarrhoea. With our partners, we engage in the following activities:
Working with villagers to provide arsenic-free water supply in Myanmar
Arsenic, a naturally occurring element, recently was discovered in many of the aquifers lying beneath the alluvial plains of Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy Delta. As thousands of tube wells were drilled to access these water sources over the past few years, many people were being exposed to imperceptible danger. UNICEF now is ensuring that families have safer water alternatives by supporting the construction of new community drinking water systems in the most heavily arsenic-affected areas. UNICEF also has conducted some 150,000 tests of water sources in high-risk areas, mapping every village and water source where the water is not safe. Contaminated wells are marked with a bright red band to warn families of the hidden danger and the most-affected villages are targeted for immediate action. UNICEF compliments the new clean water systems with community education activities to ensure that families living in at-risk areas appreciate the importance of drinking water from safe sources. Working with villagers, UNICEF helps determine what system is best for a community, combining technical feasibility with social feasibility.