WHO AWD Surge Team field visit to Somali Region

The World Health Organization delegation conducted a four-day field visit to Dollo and Korahey zones from 22-26 April 2017, as part of WHO’s interventions in the Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) outbreak emergency response, in the Ethiopia Somali Region. The aims of the visit are, among others, to effectuate a rapid assessment of the situation and to identify the needs and gaps so as to strengthen the response to the outbreak. The AWD outbreak was reportedly exacerbated due to an on-going drought in the region, which has also resulted in water scarcity, food shortages and an increase of Internally Displaced People (IDPs).

As one of the main causes for the spread of AWD outbreak is the lack of safe of water. The members of the response team, in particular, WHO WASH expert used this opportunity to evaluate the source of the water, and conduct tests to assess the level of chlorination and the safety of the water. In the visited areas, three main sources of water were identified, boreholes, wells and rainwater. At the boreholes, administered by the government, the water is pumped to government owned, NGOs and private trucks and is chlorinated on the spot. These trucks circulate around the city to distribute water to the population into plastic drums grouped in one area or private metallic tanks, underground tanks or even individual jerrycans. Individuals with jerrycans and metallic drums, though very few, collect water from the bore halls, and bucket chlorination is expected to follow, as recommended by RWB officials.

Moreover, water trucking seems crucial in delivering treated water to CTCs, remote areas, especially in availing water to IDP settlements which are mostly far from the cities and also to areas where the pastoralist population have their temporary settlements. In these areas, the trucks fill personal jerrycans, holes cover with plastic sheets, rotos (plastic tanks) and open water tanks where the population can come and collect water.

Isha Ku Hay Alljubland Media

alljubbalandmedia@gmail.com


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