Somalia, 14 October 2013: UNICEF support helps reduce the time Amina spends in search of water
By Mohamed Suleiman Saed
Durdura, Puntland, 14 October 2013-Amina is 12 years old and lives in Durdura village in the coastal area of Bari region in Puntland, northeastern Somalia. Amina’s family is one of 150 households in the village.
For a long time, Amina and the entire village didn’t have clean drinking water. They depended on an open well located in the midst of hills. The journey to the well would take up to an hour. To meet the demand for water of Amina’s family, they used to make five to six trips daily.
Amina, who is the fourth born in a poor rural family used to make some of the trips to the well with her peers in the village. Going down the hills and coming back with water was always a struggle, not only for the children but the women too.
According to the Multi Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS) 2011, only 36 percent of the households in the rural areas in Puntland have access to improved drinking water.
With support from UNICEF, the situation for Amina and her entire village has now changed.
A water system in the area has been rehabilitated providing the 150 households with easy access to clean drinking water and reducing the time spent in search of water.
The water system comprises of a spring box, generator house and a 50,000 liters underground reservoir. Five new water Points have also been constructed, helping to distribute the water across the village
“I used to get water from downhill and spend more than one hour fetching a container of ten liters from the spring. I often feel pain from carrying heavy weight but now it is very easy to get the water within less than 5 minutes.“
To ensure sustainability, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach is established for better management of the water system. Under this approach, the water system is operated and maintained through the involvement of a water utility company, under the legal frame work agreement between the company and government.
UNICEF’s PPP projects started due to weak public sector, high levels of rural-urban (and IDP) migration and strong private sector.
Six other communities in Puntland have also benefitted from similar systems supported by UNICEF.
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