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Malawi, 11 October 2017: UNICEF and UK Aid handover emergency water and sanitation supplies to Government

LILONGWE – UNICEF, with support from UK Aid, has provided water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) equipment to the Government of Malawi for use during emergencies such as droughts, floods and cholera outbreaks, to bring safe water to communities. The equipment includes water bowsers and water treatment and testing units.

This support will strengthen national disaster preparedness and increase capacity to respond to future emergencies countrywide through pre-positioning of strategic WASH supplies in drought and flood prone areas.

UNICEF Representative to Malawi Johannes Wedenig said: “Children and women bear the brunt of fetching water for their households, both in normal times and during natural disasters. Climate change is making these disasters more frequent and severe. This equipment will alleviate some of that burden by bringing safe water closer to disaster affected communities.”

UK Department for International Development (DFID) Head of Office, Jen Marshall, said: “Recurring episodes of floods or drought in Malawi present a regular risk of cholera in communities, or in temporary shelters that people move to when floods occur. We saw during the 2015/16 floods and during cholera outbreaks how hard it is to deliver safe water and latrine facilities to affected communities on time.

“These trucks and water treatment and testing units will enable the Government to urgently respond to people, even in hardest to reach areas, with vital supplies during any emergency. No child or mother should suffer from avoidable sickness or face any extra burden of accessing clean water in already difficult times.”

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Notes to editors:

  • Water and sanitation, along with food and shelter, are among the most important human needs during an emergency. UNICEF works to provide safe water and sanitation services, and promotes basic hygiene practices during disasters around the world.
  • Globally, UNICEF is the lead agency providing water, sanitation and hygiene emergency needs. Last year, UNICEF’s emergency response benefited 18 million people around the world with clean water and 4 million people with improved sanitation.
  • The UK Government, through DFID, works in partnership with UNICEF Malawi in the areas of child protection, education, health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). DFID has provided crucial humanitarian support through UNICEF, responding to the urgent needs of women and children affected by floods and droughts in Malawi.
  • Since January 2013, UNICEF’s emergency response has provided safe water, toilets and washing facilities to 39,000 people in Malawi. Affected communities have also been supported with water collection and storage containers and water treatment chemicals.

For more information, please contact:
Lulutani Tembo, UNICEF Malawi, +265 999 95 39 59, lutembo@unicef.org
Naomi Kalemba, UNICEF Malawi, +265 995 96 01 44, nkalemba@unicef.org

 

 
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