PRESS RELEASE: Contaminated Water a Grave Threat for Somalis - World Water Day March 22‏

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Friday March 21, 2014 - 16:38:36 in News In English by Web Admin
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    PRESS RELEASE: Contaminated Water a Grave Threat for Somalis - World Water Day March 22‏

    "Clean water should be available to all, but sadly that's far from the reality in Somalia," said Daud Rahoy, Officer in Charge for HIJRA, (Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid) in Mogadishu. "Diseases from contaminated water an

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"Clean water should be available to all, but sadly that's far from the reality in Somalia," said Daud Rahoy, Officer in Charge for HIJRA, (Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid) in Mogadishu. "Diseases from contaminated water and poor sanitation are all too common. Young children and women are especially vulnerable to the spread of such diseases."
Large portions of the Somali population are at continuous risk from waterborne diseases like Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), cholera and polio. Since 20 January this year, there have been at least 216 cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) in South Central Somalia, with the number of cases increasing sharply in the past month. Diarrheal diseases contributed to the deaths of thousands of people during the 2011 – 2012 famine in Somalia.

 
Besides the lack of safe drinking water, poor hygiene and a lack of sanitation are significant contributors to high disease rates. In Somalia less than one in four people have access to improved sanitation. The numbers are worst in rural villages where toilets and latrines are rare, and open defecation stands at 83 percent; the third highest rate in the world.

 
The lack of clean water at this time of year, has also led to a sharp price increase for drinking water. In Tooratooroow, a small village north of Afgooye, the price for a barrel of water (200 litres) now costs 100,000 Somali Shillings, (more than 5 US$) a price far out of reach for most Somali families. That is a more than 100 percent price increase in the past two months,

 

While 860,000 people are still living in crisis conditions, many foreign donors have reduced their humanitarian aid budgets for Somalia. Oxfam and HIJRA have continued to supply clean water and sanitation to 158,000 people living in several of Mogadishu’s camps for the displaced. With donor funding drastically reduced this year, the threat of closing these life sustaining water programs in the camps has risen.

 
"The humanitarian community urgently needs money to keep clean water accessible in all of the camps for Mogadishu’s displaced,” said Enzo Vecchio, Oxfam Somalia Country Director. "Oxfam calls on international donors not to abandon these people in need, and provide support for clean water programs in Somalia. We must ensure that vulnerable people are not needlessly exposed to risks when looking for water elsewhere. In the long term Mogadishu needs a sustainable water supply, but in the short term vulnerable communities need water now to survive.”

 
"A comprehensive approach to reducing waterborne diseases must include increasing access not only to safe drinking water, but also to improved sanitation, while addressing hygiene behavior,” said Daud Rahoy of HIJRA. "Integrated programs which include water, sanitation and public health promotion will reduce these outbreaks of waterborne diseases in Somalia.”

 
The global theme for World Water Day this year is "Water and Energy”. Worldwide, 768 million people lack access to improved water, and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation.

 

Ends

 

For further information or for interviews please contact:
Geno Teofilo | Oxfam Media Lead for Somalia
Phone: +254 737 500 035
Email: Geno.Teofilo@OxfamNovib.NL | Twitter: @GenoWorldView

 
Akhrise hoos kadhiibo fikirkaaga


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