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Cholera in Goma IDP camps in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

UNICEF provides safe water and sanitation facilities

GOMA, 12 November 2007 - According to health workers 439 cases of cholera were suspected at the end of October in five IDP camps west of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.  UNICEF is supporting humanitarian organizations to curb the outbreak in the camps, which are managed by UNHCR. Agencies specializing in water and sanitation are working to limit the outbreak from spreading.

UNICEF has provided technical advice and material such as tanks, pumps, pipes, and plastic sheeting to Oxfam Great Britain (GB), Mercy Corps, and Solidarités to enable them to supply clean water in all IDP camps.  Thirty additional water stands in and around the camps will be constructed to ensure that all camp inhabitants – around 45,000 - have easy access to clean water

After the arrival of around 60,000 IDPs in September, UNICEF and its partner Solidarités constructed 289 latrines. UNICEF has been supporting Oxfam GB with construction materials to put up an additional 400 latrines.  UNICEF will build more latrines to help contain the spread of the disease, as new internally displaced people arrive.

UNICEF is also coordinating and supporting organizations IMC, Solidarités, and Oxfam GB to promote hygiene activities.  Mobilising agents are presently circulating within the camps, speaking to the people about the dangers cholera presents and how to prevent and limit its spread.   Meanwhile, the efforts of all the water and sanitation partners have greatly mitigated the current danger.

UNICEF is presently responding to the North Kivu internal displacement emergency in the health, nutrition, education, child protection, sexual violence, emergency shelter and essential household items, and water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.  

UNICEF is present in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information please contact:
Jaya Murthy, UNICEF DRC, +243 81 230 5930, jmurthy@unicef.org
Silvia Danailov, UNICEF DRC +243 81 880 4750, sdanailov@unicef.org
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Media, +212 326 7426, pmccormick@unicef.org




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