Water, sanitation and hygiene
On this page you will find links to stories related to the issue of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Somalia. Click below to read.
The drought stricken Somali town on the river – where water is the problem and the solution
28 March 2017 - Before we boarded the flight from Mogadishu directly west to Bardheere, named for the date palms that used to flourish there, my colleague described how, decades ago, the town and the Juba River, were the focus of a development project.
A father’s agonizing vigil at a Cholera Treatment Centre in Southern Somalia
22 March 2017- Three-year-old Nur Ismail fights for his life at the Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) at Baidoa Regional Hospital, where he was admitted with severe Acute Watery Diahorrea/cholera while his father watches him, wondering if he waited too long.
A struggle for water in drought-stricken Somaliland
22 March 2017 - Driving through Somaliland, the dusty scrub land, low acacia trees and finger-like termite mounds seem to stretch on endlessly. Occasionally there are small herds of goats or sheep, sometimes a carcass.
Sharp increase in number of people suffering from Acute Watery Diarrhoea in Southern Somalia
30 January 2017: Hundreds of people, mainly women and children, suffering from Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) have been treated in hospitals and health centres in central and southern Somalia.
Severe drought kills animals and forces Somali families to flee
December, 2016 - Seventy-eight year old Mohammed Idle wearily gets down from a truck that brought him and his 16 emaciated cattle over 500 kilometres west from his home district in search of water. But it was too late for some of his animals.
Luuq District Celebrates first four certified Open Defection Free Villages anywhere in South and Central Somalia
December 2016 - The first four villages from the South and Central regions in Somalia have been recognised for abandoning open defecation and building their own toilets – contributing to their children’s health and wellbeing.
Video: US$2 million ECHO funding helps UNICEF reach half a million Somalis with WASH services
21 December 2016 - In 2016, ECHO contributed US$2 million towards UNICEF’s work in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and nutrition and child protection, enabling UNICEF to provide WASH services to 550,000 people in Somalia.
In time of drought, Somali families forced to separate to stay alive
8 December 2016 – Sitting in front of her new home – a hut put up with dried branches and covered with rugs - Khadija Muuse, 70, sings about a family forced to be apart.
Somaliland celebrates a key milestone in persuading villagers to build latrines
November 2016 – Geedabeera village is a 60 kilometre bumpy road from Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa. But it was chosen as the centre of high level celebrations to mark the certification of six Somaliland villages as being Open Defecation Free.
Video: Lack of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and its effects on nutrition
19 November 2016 - November 19 is World Toilet Day which aims to raise awareness about the global sanitation crisis and raise awareness about all the people who do not have access to a toilet.
Somaliland villages lead the way to stop open defecation
19 November 2016 – Sa’ado clearly remembers the time when she had to walk far into the open to relieve herself or defecate and would wait as long as she could to avoid the embarrassment.
A shallow well brings health and happiness to thousands of displaced people Mogadishu
October 2016 - Life at the makeshift Sadaraha camp in Mogadishu for those forced to flee fighting and drought in their home areas is always a struggle. But when the only pump at the well broke down - it had a devastating effect on the 800 families.
How emptying latrines in Mogadishu camps saves lives
20 October 2016 - The 4,000 residents of a makeshift camp in Mogadishu faced a threat to their lives and health they could do nothing about. There was no space in the camp to build any new latrines and the existing ones were overflowing.
Proud mother builds first latrine in village to safeguard her children’s health
August 2016 - Nishey, who lives in rural South West Somalia, became very concerned that her three children were constantly sick with diarrhoea and realized it was because everyone in their village defecated in the open.
Running water at Somali school means more time for lessons
August 2016 - Students at Kabasa primary school in south-west Somalia used to miss valuable school time because they had to go home for a drink of water.
Drought in northern Somalia forces families to travel long distances in search of water
March 2016: Halima’s family have been on the move desperate to find water as the drought in Puntland gets worse. In October Halima Elmi, her husband and eight children left their home area of Karkar because the October – December rains had failed.
European Union helping Somali residents to end decades-long water shortage
December 2015- Residents in the town of Wajaale are optimistic the water shortage witnessed in the town for decades will end once the UNICEF/EU funded Public Private Partnership (PPP) project is completed.
“Water is Life” – new water system transform village life
6 September 2015 - Our journey from the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, to see the water project at the village 90 kilometres north, takes us across several dry river beds.
A new water system gives a Somali boy the chance to concentrate on studies
31 August 2015: - Eleven year old Ali and his elder brother Abdirahman used to spend at least three hours eacgh day fetching water from a shallow well, located down in a steep valley, a kilometre from their village in Somaliland.
A new latrine is the pride and joy of Somali families
August 2015 - Aydan Hassan and his wife are extremely proud of the new addition to their compound in Geed Abeera village in Gabiley District, Somaliland. They have built a new toilet alongside their three houses, kitchen, and pens of goats.
Eleven year old Abdi inspires villagers to abandon open defecation
March 2015 - “I am not going to go in the bush again. I will begin digging the pit tomorrow”. After making his declaration, 11 year old Abdi Rashid sat down abruptly besides the other children.
Improving urban water service delivery in Somaliland
March 2015 – Somaliland’s Director of Sustainable Management and Regulatory Framework, Ministry of Water Resources Eng. Abdirahman Abdisalam Shali speaks about the UNICEF water project funded by the EU and its aim to improving urban water service delivery
Providing safe and reliable water in Somali schools and health centres
March 2015 – It is midday and the classes are over at Dhabolaq Primary School, southwest Somaliland. A few weeks ago, at a time like now, 13--year-old Hamsa Abdi Mohamed would be running home to go to fetch water down at the river, five kilometers away.
Agreement signed to decentralize management of Rural Water Supply in Puntland
August 2014 - Puntland State Agency for Water Energy and Natural Resources (PSAWEN) signed a memorandum of understanding with Mayor of Benderbayla to pilot a decentralized management of rural water system for improved sustainability of water projects.
UNICEF focus on improving access to water to reduce burden on women and children
March 2014 – Less than two weeks after giving birth to her fourth child, Ibba Aideed Farah, restarted her daily routine walking two kilometres to the shallow well in her village for water.
Ilmi - A Champion in Puntland for Sanitation
7 March 2014 - Ilmi Farah Muse has spear headed a revolution in sanitation in her small village in Qardho 150 kilometres from Puntland’s capital Garowe.
Solar power brings water to rural communities in Somalia
5 March 2013-Ten year old Fatima Ismael Saleh and her family used to be constantly on the move in search of water for themselves and their livestock. But thanks to a new solar powered water system installed in the village, the family can stay in one place
UNICEF support helps reduce the time Amina spends in search of water
14 October 2013-Amina is 12 years old and lives in Durdura village in the coastal area of Bari region in Puntland, northeastern Somalia. Amina’s family is one of 150 households in the village.
UNICEF leads Child Health Days to stem the tide of preventable childhood diseases across Somalia
10 December 2012 – The journey to defeat the diseases that kill thousands of children every year in Somalia starts in the chilly light of dawn.
Battling the effects of drought on Somali communities- Q&A with UNICEF Nutrition Specialist
1 November 2011 – Horn of Africa governments, the United Nations and aid agencies have all been battling one of the worst droughts in decades in the region. Zivai Mururi, nutrition specialist for UNICEF update on the situation in northern Somalia.
“When the water ran out, we had to leave our home” – One Somali family’s experience after a village borehole ran dry
1 December 2011 – The people of Wadaamagoo rely on fresh water pumped from the ground by a diesel-driven borehole. When it broke down recently, the ripple effects went further than the struggle to find alternative supplies. Amina Jama tells her story.
The multiplier effect: How simple repairs to a water pump brought life back to a drought-hit Somali community
1 December 2011 – With funding from the Government of Japan, UNICEF has helped drought-hit Somali communities to operationalize their water systems, bringing life back to towns and villages. Read more.
“My daughter died because I did not know about these things”: The tragic potential of poor hygiene in Somalia
GUGUH, Somaliland, 28 November 2011 - Amina, mother of seven, talks about how she came to know about the importance of hygiene practices.
Simple rules of hygiene help reduce malnutrition among Somali children
BOSSASO, Puntland, 28 Nov 2011 - Read about new initiative, supported by UNICEF, with UKaid funding, to improve basic hygiene and sanitation in Somalia’s family homes to reduce child illnesses and malnutrition.
Public-Private Partnership provides safe water to drought-affected populations in Somalia
29 April 2011 - People of Qardho town suffered from shortage of water until a few years ago when an extensive water system was introduced.
Water brings drought relief and a peace dividend in Central Somalia
18 April 2011 - In Galinsor town, Central Somalia (approximately 600 kilometres north of Mogadishu) as women fetch water and wash clothes and children play, builders are constructing a concrete elevated water tank and a place to house a generator.
Rural water system helps alleviate impact of drought in Somalia
28 April 2011 - As communities in Somalia face harsh conditions following the failure of the October-December Deyr rains, the people of Waaciye village are grateful that they have an operational water source.
World Water Day celebrated in the Somali capital Mogadishu
30 March 2011 - World Water Day 2011 was celebrated in Mogadishu by UNICEF's governmental and non-governmental partners
Somali village overcomes drought with a new water source thanks to UNICEF & Italian Development Cooperation
2 March 2011 - As drought affects communities in Somalia following the failure of the (October-December) Deyr rains, the people of Saddex Higlo village, are thankful that a new borehole is now operational.
UNICEF and Japan support better health for vulnerable children and women
BURAO, Northwest Somalia "Somaliland", 13 January 2011 - In a country where basic health care is scarce, UNICEF supports a nation-wide network of primary health facilities with essential drugs and vaccines.
Access to safe water transforms lives of residents in the remote Rugey Village
RUGEY VILLAGE, Northwest Somalia “Somaliland”, 10 December 2010 – Deep in the Daallo mountains, where the only road is a dirt path, less than five metres wide carved into the sides of the cliffs, lies the village of Rugey. The drive to Rugey from ......
Global Handwashing Day: Children lead the way in Afghanistan, Somalia and Mozambique
NEW YORK, USA, 15 October 2008: Millions of children in 70 countries around the world are marking the first-ever Global Handwashing Day with a simple act that will protect them from disease and save their lives...
Public-private partnerships bring sustainable, safe water to Somali communities
BERBERA, Somalia, 28 September 2009: Until recently, a run-down urban water system dating from the 19th century delivered scant, low-quality water to the residents of Berbera, a coastal town in north-west Somalia. But that has changed recently...
In Somalia, a Public-Private partnership provides safe water to thousands
BOROMA, Somalia, 29 July 2010: Residents of Boroma town in north-west Somalia don’t take access to safe water for granted. In recent years, depletion of the wells connected to Boroma’s water system caused a significant reduction in the town’s water...
Visiting Somalia, UNICEF Regional Director notes progress made on safe water
BOSSASO, Somalia, May 2010 – Bossaso, a busy port town on the northern coast of Somalia, is an economic hub in the semi-autonomous Puntland region. Tens of thousands of Somalia’s estimated 1.5 million internally displaced people live here, shielded from..
UNICEF supports establishment of water supply system for Merka in Somalia
May 2010: Residents of Merka town in Somalia have more reason to smile following the completion of a water supply system for the town by UNICEF in collaboration with the local community. The new water supply system is benefitting 31,500 residents...
Somaliland community invests in reliable water system
July 2008: Haraf Village, a few kilometers outside Hargeisa, the capital city of Somaliland, now enjoys a stable source of safe drinking water thanks to a water pumping system run by solar energy, which UNICEF supported setting up with Danish support...
Provision of safe water improves quality of life for the residents of Berbera
March 2009: Until recently, the coastal town of Berbera, north-west Somalia (‘Somaliland’), suffered from insufficient and poor quality of water delivered through its run-down water system, now that has changed...
Water and sanitation upgrades improve life for Somali children and women
DHEENTA VILLAGE, Somalia, 06 January 2010 - The people of Dheenta village didn’t have safe water until two months ago. But now, thanks to the UNICEF-supported new water system, about 300 families are benefiting from a regular supply of clean water...
Women take lead in in Water Management in Puntland
26 August 2014- In Rabable, a village 25 kilometers from Puntland’s Capital, Garowe, the community has entrusted the management of their water system to a woman, Lul Mohamed Ali.
Japanese Government's support to Somali children
29 January 2015 - Somalia is one of the worst places in the world to be a child. One in every seven Somali children dies before their fifth birthday and tens of thousands are severely malnourished.
Safe water remains scarce in Somalia, contributing to disease and malnutrition
21 March 2012 – A line of women and children curves around the wall of a defunct hospital, now home to an Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) in the Hodan District of Mogadishu.
A Gift of Life: UNICEF supports well rehabilitation in Baidoa
November 2007: Fatima and her four-year old son fled fighting in Mogadishu to save their lives. They had no idea that Fatima’s son would almost lose his life to cholera in a camp that they now call home in the heart of southern Somalia...