Water, sanitation and hygiene


What UNICEF is doing

School WASH

Household WASH

WASH in emergencies

Impact with equity

Results for children


WASH in emergencies

© UNICEF/NYHQ1994-1539/Pirozzi
Children and women carry water back to the vast Benaco camp in the north-western Ngara region of Tanzania.

Emergencies, be they rapid onset, chronic, natural or man-made, inevitably cause disruption to basic services. People are less likely to be able to drink safe water, use basic sanitation facilities and maintain improved hygiene practices.

Children, especially those under the age of five, are particularly vulnerable to the diseases which can result during emergencies. These diseases include diarrhoea, cholera, respiratory infections, which are all linked when water supplies and sanitation services are disrupted.

UNICEF maintains stocks of supplies (buckets, soap and jerry cans) in strategic locations to permit timely response during emergencies for at least 20,000 people. These have proven very useful in UNICEF’s timely response to the 2011 Dar es Salaam floods. In addition, UNICEF contributes a pivotal role in convening the Emergency WASH Preparedness and Response meetings that, among others, seek to better prepare all sector actors to respond to emergencies.



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