Clean water can save lives in emergencies, and is essential for sustaining recovery after crises.
Access to safe drinking water is a human right and is the primary driver of the International Organization for Migration’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. Such access also enables other components of effective WASH responses. IOM-WASH programmes are designed to reach those most in need, especially crisis-affected populations in hard-to-reach locations. Aiming to “leave no one behind” is the expressed theme for World Water Day 2019 (22 March).
IOM provides safe drinking water around the world through infrastructure interventions: by providing items and products for water storage and treatment at household or community level; or through the facilitation of water access through vouchers or water trucking, according to the needs in any given operation. IOM aims to ensure unrestricted and equitable access to safe and affordable water for those in need, complementing the providing of safe water with information about appropriate sanitation practices and the systematic promotion of good hygiene.
In South Sudan, IOM provides safe water through surface water treatment systems and borehole water supply systems for over 150,000 IDPs who have sought refuge in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites within the UN peace keeping missions. In 2018 IOM built a massive solar-powered water supply system for the Rohingya’s in camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh — providing 500 m³ of water per day, reaching 30,000 beneficiaries and ensuring each the minimum of 15 litres per person per day required in an emergency. In Ethiopia, are assisted in accessing safe water through the distribution of water containers and water purification tablets.