Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Children’s health and nutritional well-being are strongly linked to their access to safe water and proper sanitation. Across Somalia, unpredictable rainfall patterns, ongoing conflict, and lack of maintenance has resulted in only 29 per cent of the population having access to clean water and 39 per cent to sanitation. Diarrhoea, a key water and sanitation related illness, is closely associated with malnutrition and is the cause of nearly one in five deaths (19 per cent) of children under five.
Lack of sanitation, safe water facilities and services and poor hygiene are significant contributors to the high rates of disease in Somalia. A comprehensive approach to reducing malnutrition and disease must include increasing access to sanitation and safe water services and addressing hygiene behaviour. The mapping of access to water and sanitation Taken from an analysis of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) data collected during FSNAU household surveys in 2009 and 2010 services shows a close correlation between areas of high malnutrition and areas with poor access to water and sanitation. Frequently poor hygiene and sanitation practices combined with the use of unsafe water combine to cause chronic and/or acute diarrhea. Integrated interventions which include nutrition and WASH components can help to reduce the incidence of diarrhea.