Keeping communities safe through water testing

Every year, more than 1.5 million people die from diarrhoea – the majority are infants and young children that consumed unsafe drinking water. Without access to clean water sources, water-borne diseases can proliferate and cause severe illness, threatening lives and disrupting children’s access to education. In Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6…, Working with communities, While governments work to expand access to safe drinking water by improving critical water infrastructure and services, UNICEF supports them at the community level by testing household and public water sources for faecal contamination. “UNICEF supplies test kits that look at different aspects of water that make it safe, which includes testing for…, Piloting the next generation of test kit, UNICEF is currently readying to pilot a new type of test which returns results in 8-10 hours. This innovation, spearheaded by UNICEF Supply Division and water test manufacturers, cuts in half the time required to get results of bacteria in water in remote locations. This project may be a significant step towards the development of rapid water…, Learn more about UNICEF Supply Division’s water testing innovations:, Rapid Water Quality Testing Rapid Water Quality Testing Target Product Profile: Rapid water quality detection method or portable kit Target Product Profile: Rapid water quality detection method or portable kit, How UNICEF helps keeping communities safe through water testing

Building access to clean water in support of Sustainable Development Goal 6

Worldwide, 844 million people lack access to drinking water, and 2.3 billion do not have access to latrines or other basic sanitation facilities. Contaminated water and poor sanitation are among the leading causes of death for children under 5. Without access to Water and sanitation clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities , children…, Building resilience in South Sudan’s water supply , Conflict in South Sudan began in 2013 and has inflicted extensive damage to the country’s water infrastructure. By 2017, an estimated Clean water returns to town in South Sudan 5.1 million people in South Sudan did not have consistent access to safe water and sanitation facilities. Lack of access to clean water contributed to the acute…, Bringing drinking water to schools, health centres and communities, In the Central African Republic, progress towards SDG 6 has been hindered due to conflict that has been ongoing since 2013. The conflict has led to the breakdown or destruction of water treatment works, pollution of wells and increased risks in accessing water points. The UNICEF Central African Republic Country Office Annual Report 2021 country’s…, Achieving SDG 6 requires complex construction projects, UNICEF is now undertaking increasingly Complex building projects complex projects to resolve some of the most intractable development and humanitarian water challenges.   Iraq faces significant water scarcity challenges, affecting peace and security throughout the region. The country is affected by climate change-induced drought, and water…, Expanding access to clean drinking water for nearly 900,000 people in Venezuela, Although Venezuela ranks as one of the world’s top 15 countries in renewable freshwater resources, the ongoing economic crisis has severely disrupted continuous access to clean water and basic sanitation for nearly 8 out of 10 Venezuelans. Even with government price controls, a bottle of water costs around US$3. But with minimum wage at…

Building complex infrastructure in the world’s toughest locations

In support of its programmes, UNICEF is engaged in constructing new infrastructure and improving existing facilities that provide services to children, their families and communities. Construction projects in even the most developed environments are challenging by nature. They require a highly technical professional workforce, knowledge of local…, The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Medical and vaccine warehouses in Kinshasa and Kisangani, Project complexities: Import of technology, remote location, security and safety, large and high-value project, technical workforce. According to a 2019 survey, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), only 35 per cent of children aged 12 to 23 months are fully vaccinated, 45 per cent are incompletely vaccinated, and 20 per cent have not…, Palestine: Desalination plant for provision of drinking water to Gaza, Project complexities: Import of technology, security and workforce safety, large/high-value project, technical workforce, permits and authorisations. UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme lists universal and equitable access to safe water as its number one priority. Gaza’s traditional sources of water are no longer reliable due…, Iraq: Water treatment plants for children and families in Abu Ghraib and Al Qa’Qa’, Project complexities: Import of technology, security and workforce safety, large and high-value project, technical workforce, permits and authorizations. In 2015, the people living along the Euphrates River near Bagdad suffered from an outbreak of cholera, a deadly water-borne disease that causes profuse diarrhoea. Epidemiologists traced the…, Complex construction, As a trusted partner for funders and governments, UNICEF is committed to delivering social infrastructures such as schools and health facilities for children and young people. The UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2022-2025 guides how UNICEF deploys its resources to support complex construction and highlights two cross-cutting strategies related to this…

UNICEF water pumps: a source of life, health and resilience

Drinking a glass of water is a trivial routine for many, but for millions of people worldwide  accessing safe water still requires long journeys or strenuous work. In 2020, 1 in 4 people lacked access to water that was free from contamination and available when needed, and 1 in 10 people still needed to walk more than 30 minutes to collect safe…, From diesel to solar power, Motor-powered pumps can serve big communities and extract large volumes of water, eliminating or reducing the time people spend queuing or walking to collect it. In Nigeria, for example, two health facilities were desperately in need of a safe supply. At Shallow wells no more Dogon Kuka Primary Health Centre in Yobe State , a shallow well marked…, Sustainable sources of water, UNICEF Nigeria’s Water and Sanitation Manager, Michael Forson, explains that the installation of solar-powered systems in the country was the result of a decision taken years ago to move away from water pumps driven by diesel generators. “The cost to operate a supply system for a community is vital. The price of a litre of diesel can increase so…, For small communities, human-powered pumps, For small communities with up to 200 people who live no more than 200 metres from a water source, human-operated pumps, especially handpumps, may be a better solution than electric pumps. UNICEF, in collaboration with partners, drills boreholes, installs handpumps, provides spare parts and trains people in the community on how to operate and…, Early development, For almost 50 years, UNICEF has been working to promote the use of water pumps that meet the needs of local communities. In 1974, UNICEF and the Government of India recognized the need for a better hand pump than those available on the market. They were looking for an inexpensive new pump that had a simple design and was easy to use and maintain.…, Water is everything, Follow UNICEF’s installation of a brand-new hand pump and the happiness it brings to the children of Dialangou in Mali.

No child should have to drink dirty water

Clean water is something many people take for granted, when they’re thirsty they simply turn on a tap or open a bottle of water.   But this is not the case for an estimated 1 in 3 people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water . Many rely on water from rivers, lakes or shallow wells that can be contaminated with faecal matter,…, Global impact, To change this, UNICEF is working with industry to develop a faster and simpler test through the Rapid Water Quality Testing innovation project , which if achieved has the potential to help create a massive global impact for children. “Currently, it is difficult to run water testing programmes in remote and low-resource settings as current…, Supporting behaviour change programmes  , In many countries, a key element of UNICEF, partners and government water and sanitation programming is helping communities understand how diseases spread, says Shaylor. “It would be difficult for a team of strangers to visit a community, ask for a water sample and come back several days later and say, ‘this is what we found in your water’.…, Cutting the time in half  , In 2016, UNICEF launched a target product profile to guide and encourage industry to develop a rapid test to be deployed at the community level in remote and resource poor settings. “It’s extremely exciting,” says Shaylor. “We’re taking a piece of equipment that UNICEF has used for more than 10 years and completely redesigning the product based on…, Rapid Water Quality Testing innovation project  , Without access to clean water, children are at risk of life-threatening diseases. The Rapid Quality Water Testing project will mean more children have access to safe drinking water, ensure better health outcomes and help prevent thousands of deaths in young children each year.