Safe drinking water finally arrives for thousands of Mogadishu IDPs
Sixty-eight-year-old Fatuma Abdi couldn’t hide her joy when she learnt her camp would for the first time receive piped, clean water. Fatuma lives in a thatched hut with five family members including grandchildren, thirty meters from a 10m3 water bladder installed near her home in Horseed IDP camp within Kahda District.
When she first heard the news, she told our project staff; “This is one of the best gifts I ever received. I have been in this camp for more than a year now and I have struggled to get water just like those before me. We spend a lot of time and energy to get water from any possible source. Now I can get clean water from the tank that’s just next to my house.”
Fatuma is among 15,800 IDPs in Kahda, Dayniile and Dharkinley districts within Mogadishu City who will benefit from the integrated emergency package for displaced persons that Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD) was implementing in Mogadishu with funding from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF).
“For so long this IDP camp lacked clean piped water,” said Adan Adow, a committee chairman of Horeseed IDP camp in Kahda district.
“Women faced numerous challenges including rape whenever they trekked in search of water. They will now be in safe hands thanks to this water provision” he added.
CPD installed water piping systems stretching to almost 3.5km within the three districts serving 10 bladders spread across IDP camps in the area, each with a capacity of 10M3.
Project manager Robert Wambu said the piped water would have great benefits for the IDPS.
“During the past year in particular, with the drought, there has been a huge increase in people suffering from water borne diseases in these areas,” Wambu said. “The successful completion of this pipeline will have huge health benefits for the IDP families.” He added.
According to UNICEF Somalia, only 45% of Somalis have access to improved water sources and this increases the risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
Segments of the community such as women, children, IDPs, disabled people and many others are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need. This project therefore restores their dignity and cushions them against such predicaments.
Increasing access to safe water must also be accompanied by efforts to ensure the quality of drinking water. Water quality monitoring and house water treatment and safe storage are critical interventions that aim to reduce the risk of contamination of water supplies.
It is against this background that the project has placed hygiene promoters at key sections within the camp including water points to educate the IDP families on proper water treatment, handling and storage among other sanitation practices.