Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Priority issues

UNICEF in Action




Sustained Water Supply for Children and Women of Somaliland
Tog Wajaale, 2 December 2018 – Safe, affordable water is now being delivered to hundreds of thousands of families in areas of Somaliland thanks to a sustainable water system inaugurated today by the Government of Somaliland, the EU, UNICEF and partners.

Nishe’s story - Safe drinking water for displaced families
1 November 2018 - Since early morning, there hasn’t been a dull moment at the water point in Bulohawa camp for the internally displaced persons (IDP) in Baidoa, Bay Region.

In Somalia, every day is a struggle to find enough water
27 March 2018 - For the millions of desperate people in Somalia suffering the effects of the sweeping drought, there is never enough water. Over a million people left their homes for makeshift camps after their crops and animals died in search of water...

Connecting millions to the lifeline
6 March 2018 - Feature by Abdifatah Hassan Ali, UNICEF Voices of Youth blogging intern on a field trip with UNICEF and the European Union on the joint urban water project.

Getting water in your home – from a dream to reality for four Somaliland communities thanks to funding from the European Union for a Public Private Partnership
26 February 2018 –Boroma town in western Somaliland used to suffer from a perpetual water shortage, with people relying on trucks to bring supplies from unprotected surface water source locally known as water pans.

Somaliland communities use their phones to provide feedback on education, health and water services
February 2018 - Every month over 200 community members in Boroma receive a series of questions on their mobile phones about the quality of local education, health and water services.

A new water system improves life for pupils in Kismayo school
13 December 2017 - Over 1000 pupils at Rugta school in Kismayo celebrated the opening of brand new toilets, handwashing facilities and a solar powered water system. The UNICEF-supported facilities were installed by the NGO ADRA with funding from SIDA.

A village in Somalia escapes the cholera outbreak after building their own toilets
13 December 2017 – Two years ago, three of Saniin Adan Omar’s children fell sick with acute watery diarrhea from drinking contaminated water. One of them nearly died.

UNICEF and Sweden working to bring water back to Somaliland villages
1 December 2017 - Until the recent drought, the village of Dheenta in Somaliland enjoyed clean drinking water, pumped through a solar powered system from a hand-dug well situated in a riverbed, to an elevated storage tank....

Families see water piped to their homes for the first time in Somaliland town
27 September 2017 - Halima Hussein Ismail has never imagined that one day she would get water directly from a tap in her own home in the drought stricken town of Burao in Somaliland.

UNICEF provides latrines for internally displaced in Puntland, Somalia
Jawle IDP camp, Puntland, Somalia, 25 September 2017 - UNICEF handed over 180 communal toilets for displaced people in Jawle camp in Somalia's north eastern state of Puntland at a ceremony attended by Vice President of Puntland and the Governor of Nugal.

UNICEF hands over latrines for thousands of vulnerable people living in camp for the displaced in north east Somalia
Garowe, Puntland, Somalia, 25 September 2017 –UNICEF is providing access to safe and dignified sanitation to 3,600 people in the Jawle camp for the internally displaced in Puntland, north east Somalia.

Launch of emergency water trucking for IDPs in Baidoa
19 September 2017 - UNICEF Somalia, in partnership with the Federal GovSomalia and South ernment of West State authorities, has launched a new phase of emergency water trucking to thousands of people around Baidoa town displaced by the ongoing drought.

UNICEF and the Puntland authorities launch pipeline extension to bring water to thousands
Bosasso, Puntland, Somalia, 18 September 2017 – A partnership between UNICEF, the Puntland authorities, and partners is bringing piped water to thousands of people in the town of Bosasso for the first time.

UNICEF and IOM combine forces to end cholera outbreak in key town in southern Somalia
11 September 2017 - UNICEF and the 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 AWD/cholera in many areas of southern Somalia.

Video: How far would you walk to find clean drinking water? | UNICEF
27 Augustus 2017 - Over 2.4 million children in Somalia desperately need clean drinking water. Their lives depend on it. Share your support during World Water Week. Water is a right, not a privilege.

Safe drinking water finally arrives for tens of thousands of people in Somaliland town
August 2017 - Seventy-four year old Mariam Omar Farah couldn’t hide her excitement when she heard her town would, for the first time receive piped, clean water that week

More than 180 million people lack basic drinking water in countries ravaged by conflict or unrest - UNICEF
NEW YORK/STOCKHOLM, 29 August 2017 – More than 180 million people do not have access to basic drinking water in countries affected by conflict, violence and instability* around the world, UNICEF warned today, as World Water Week gets under way.

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.

US$2 million EU humanitarian aid funds helped UNICEF reach hundreds of thousands of Somalis with nutrition, WASH and child protection services
23 December 2016 – In 2016, UNICEF, through its implementing partners, treated nearly 100,000 Somali children suffering from malnutrition, and provided their mother with critical nutrition and hygiene education.

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 EU humanitarian aid 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.

On World Toilet Day, 14 Somali villages are recognized for abandoning open defecation
19 November 2016 - Twelve villages in Somaliland and two in Puntland have been officially recognized for demonstrating that everyone in their community uses a toilet and no longer goes into the fields, bushes, forests, water or open spaces to defecate.

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 – Amina*, her husband and her seven children live in the village of Geed Giqsi in Gabiley, Somaliland. They have a relatively comfortable life growing maize, sorghum and vegetables and tending two cows.

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.

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.

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.

Video: UNICEF EU Somaliland urban water project
10 May 2016 - Under the UNICEF-EU urban water project, water systems in four major towns in Somaliland - Boroma, Burao, Erigavo and Tog-Wajaale - are being built and strengthened. This will provide 1 million people in the four towns with piped 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

News note: Agreement signed to improve water service delivery to towns in Somaliland
28 March 2014 – Residents in four towns in Somaliland can look forward to improved water service delivery following the finalization of an agreement between the Somaliland Ministry of Water Resources, UNICEF and the European Union.

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.

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.

On Global Handwashing Day, UNICEF focuses on creating awareness about the link between hand washing and Polio prevention in Somalia
14 October 2013 - Washing hands regularly with soap and water is one of the simplest, most affordable and effective ways of preventing disease and saving lives.

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

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ......

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Somaliland town gets new water supply system
The Gebiley Water System was launched in Northwest Somalia (‘Somaliland’) in early 2005. Like others that UNICEF has constructed in Somalia, it is combating the problem of lack of access to clean water, waterborne diseases, poor sanitation and hygiene.



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