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UNICEF and IOM combine forces to end cholera outbreak in key town in southern Somalia

UNSOM/2017/Jones
© UNSOM/2017/Jones
A woman in a camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Baidoa fills a jerrycan with water. UNICEF and IOM have provided many of these camps with safe water.

Baidoa, Bay Region, Somalia, 11 September 2017 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) have reached tens of thousands of people displaced by the drought with safe water, latrines and good hygiene promotion helping to slow and even stop the outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea/cholera in many areas of southern Somalia.

More than 180,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have arrived in Baidoa in southern Somalia since seeking assistance after their crops failed and animals died, settling in more than 230 informal settlements. Overcrowded camps and contaminated water sparked an outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera with nearly 15,000 cases reported in Bay this year – the vast majority (78 per cent) in Baidoa. Over a quarter were children under 5.

However alongside the increased water and sanitation services, there was also a scale up in the prevention and treatment of cholera through medical centres, water chlorination and distribution of hygiene kits. In response the number of AWD/cholera cases has dropped dramatically with the last cases in Baido reported at the end of June and even early in other districts in Bay region.

UNICEF has worked jointly with the regional administration, the South West State’s Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources to supply clean water to 820 households in Muqor ii Maanyuw camp and provide them with hygiene kits along with constructing 60 latrines. In total UNICEF constructed 765 latrines for the new IDPs benefiting over 38,000 people. Construction of another 1,000 latrines is underway through the Ministry of Health and will benefit 50,000 people.

UNSOM/2017/Jones
© UNSOM/2017/Jones
Families displaced by the prolonged drought in Somalia are provided with safe water, latrines and advice on hygiene to tackle the Acute Watery Diarrhoea/Cholera outbreak.

IOM is providing clean and safe water through water trucking to 20 sites in Baidoa and has constructed two shallow wells in Hanano IDP camp that have the capacity to provide 7,000 liters of water to the host community and IDPs. As of August 2017, IOM has provided nearly 135 million litres of emergency water supply through water trucking to over 400,000 Somalis in eight regions that have been hit hardest by the drought. For Baidao only, IOM has provided over 19 million liters of emergency water supply through water trucking to over 80,364 Somalis which was affected by the current drought. Additionally, IOM has provided hygiene kits to 3000 households.

Since the start of 2017, UNICEF and IOM have taken significant strides to respond to the ongoing drought. Working closely with partners, they have provided more than 1.9 million people with temporary access to safe water in central and southern regions of Somalia. The water trucking intervention was implemented through NGO partners and directly through the authorities. In the longer term, UNICEF and IOM are working on repairing and upgrading strategic boreholes and wells, extending pipelines to IDP camps and routine chlorination and testing of water sources.

 

 
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