© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Makundi
Increasing sustainable access to water of a proper quality
Lack of access to safe water is a striking feature in almost all parts of Somalia. Only 45% of Somalis have access to improved water sources and this increases the risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Cholera is endemic and claims hundreds of lives annually, particularly in densely populated areas. Increasing access to safe water must also be accompanied by efforts to ensure the quality of drinking water. Water quality monitoring and house water treatment and safe storage are critical interventions that aim to reduce the risk of contamination of water supplies.
Aiming for open defecation-free communities
The prevalence of open defecation in rural areas is estimated as 56%. Poor hygiene and sanitation practices are major causes of diseases such as cholera among children and women. With only 25 % of the population having access to improved sanitation, empowering communities to take action for their own sanitation needs, as well as supporting schools and health facilities to provide essential sanitary facilities, are priority Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions.