The water crisis coincides with the urgent need for better sanitation and hygiene practices. Women and young girls are disproportionately affected by the water crisis with 64% (almost two-thirds) of households relying on women to fetch the family’s water2. For some, the arduous journey can last up to 6 hours in extreme hot weather conditions3.
UMR understands the worth of water, and we believe that everyone has a fundamental human right to fresh water. Clean water not only influences the survival and development of children, most marginalized communities have limited or no access to safe clean drinking water. In today’s world people are still living without the basic necessity (water), 1 in 9 people do not have access to safe drinking water, many children are forced to go without this basic human need4. The water crisis is a severe issue in Somalia with just 45% of Somalis having access to sufficient water sources. 75% of the population don’t have access to improved sanitation or hygiene practices, which can lead to diseases such as cholera among women and children5.
Below average rainfall in 2016 paired with El Nino-induced weather extremes which had a serious impact on the livelihoods, as well as the food and water systems, across the Horn of Africa. The water shortage led to a humanitarian crisis in these countries, including Somalia.
A newborn dies every minute from infection caused by lack of safe and clean water6. A further 842,000 people perish each year from diarrhea as a result of drinking unsafe water7. UMR WASH Project focuses on improving the availability of clean water and sanitation to 2,500 vulnerable households located in IDP camps and host communities in the Gedo Region, Somalia. This program will be achieved through the rehabilitation of existing water sources, providing water treatment systems and the provision of adequate hygiene facilities including latrines. Hygiene promotion sessions will also be carried out by trained hygiene promoters to push for positive behavioral change.