Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

UNICEF provides clean drinking water for 200 relief camps

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF India/2005
Women and children living in a relief camp are lining up to get safe drinking water from the water tank provided by UNICEF.
NAGAPATTINAM, India, 9 January 2005 – Clean drinking water is the key to survival for hundreds of children and their families seeking refuge in crowded relief camps in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. To prevent waterborne disease such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery - all caused by drinking contaminated water - UNICEF has set up water tanks, providing safe drinking water for the survivors.

The water tanks began arriving approximately 48 hours after the tsunami lashed 77 villages across the coastline of Tamil Nadu. They were distributed throughout the 200 relief camps in Tamil Nadu, and provide an estimated 100,000 people with life-saving clean water.

Neelakshi Amman Koil - the Temple of Goddess Neelakshi - is one of the relief camps benefiting from UNICEF’s efforts. The temple is one of the largest camps, sheltering 1500 people whose homes were destroyed, including a large number of children.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF India/2005
Gunawati Rajamaanikan (right), a community leader in Neelakshi Amman Koil, gives a girl some fresh water to drink.

Gunawati Rajamaanikan, a community leader in Neelakshi Amman Koil, gathers girls and women around the water tanks every morning at 7:30. She helps maintain order and reminds everyone that clean water is precious and it should not be wasted. “Wherever we are, UNICEF tanks are always there, and water is there too,” says Gunawati.

Rajashree is 19 years old and has brought her 4-month-old niece, Kawya, to the water tank. “Because of UNICEF, we continue to get clean water and all of our children are free of disease,” says Rajashree thankfully.

For the people living in the relief camps, daily essentials like drinking, washing and cooking all rely on the water from the tanks. Apart from Nagapatinam, UNICEF is providing water for the districts of Cuddalore, Kanyakumari, Villepuram and Kanchipuram - four other hardest-hit areas.










 

 

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11 January 2005: UNICEF has distributed water tanks throughout the 200 relief camps in Tamil Nadu, and provides an estimated 100,000 people with life-saving clean water.

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