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Children in Tsunami Hit Samoa Have Safe Water Again

SUVA, 9 October 2009 – Girls and boys in tsunami affected areas of Samoa again have access to safe water.

Since the tsunami hit the south beaches of Samoa on 29 September, getting the waterlines restored in affected areas has been one of the key priorities of the UNICEF supported emergency response. On Wednesday 7 October (local time) the Water Sector Tsunami Response Team (WSRT) led by the Government of Samoa announced that all water supplies are back online in affected areas. This enables children and their families to resume good hygiene practices necessary to prevent new infections – and provides them with a sense of returning to normalcy. For the displaced children and families from the 40 worst hit villages, UNICEF and the Water Sector Tsunami Response Team will provide water from trucks.

Provision of water and re-establishment of sanitation facilities in schools in affected areas remain a concern as children have resumed schooling since Monday 5 October. In the most affected areas 5 schools have been completely destroyed and many more schools have been affected. Many children have therefore resumed school in ‘host’ schools. UNICEF is supporting the work to re-establish and improve water and sanitation facilities in the ‘host’ schools as well as provision of transportation to these schools for the displaced children.

For the many children who lost their school uniform during the tsunami - and everything else in their possession – UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Education to ensure that they are equipped with a new uniform.

UNICEF is on the ground 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 girls and boys, 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 additional information, please contact:
Donna Hoerder, UNICEF Pacific, + 679 3300 439,
Tomas Jensen, UNICEF Pacific, + 679 3300 439,         
Geoff Keele, UNICEF East Asia Pacific, + 66 2 356 9407,




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