Supporting access to water for crisis-affected population in Somalia

Displacement remains critical in Somalia due to climate crises, evictions and conflict. 84% of the newly displaced populations have been forced to flee as a result of floods and droughts. The humanitarian needs of the population are expected to deteriorate in the upcoming months especially the ones regarding access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

In addition, the impact of COVID-19 is worsening the purchasing power and the resilience of the population, therefore inducing the use of negative coping mechanisms. ACTED developed activities with multiple goals to address the various needs and improve essential basic services in IDPs camps. This project included access to water sanitation and hygiene especially in the Sanaag region.

Providing access to water to communities after crises in Sanaag region

Sanaag’s region affected population depends on groundwater for consumption and domestic usage. The available groundwater sources are boreholes, shallows and springs.

Approximately 40 % of the population in Sanaag region has access to standard basic-water.


Thousands of people, especially IDPs have no access to basic hygiene services such as latrines. IDPs have to defecate on bare lands which contaminates the alternative sources of water where affected populations turn to during the rainy season.

The lack of access to sufficient, safe, and affordable water, increases the risk of contracting preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, and respiratory infections. Access to sanitary facilities and adopting good practices in terms of hygiene is essential to prevent these diseases.

ACTED answered the needs of the population and guaranteed access to drinking water by installing , construction of one water tank in the Sanaag region. The solar system eliminates the use of petrol and electricity in pumping water and therefore, also eliminating the unaffordable water prices. ACTED has taken cohesive measures to eliminate open defecation and dignify vulnerable population.

 Helping reducing open air defecation to prevent diseases in Somalia

Fatima Ali is one of the many individuals forced to flee due to militia conflict. Like most of her entire village members have been displaced from village in Sanaag region. They then settled in Hubera IDP camp, establishing a new life cycle in resilient on the aftermath trauma of the invasion of the militia and the loss of their homes.

Despite all this, Hubera had no sanitation facilities and ACTED created activities to guarantee safe access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Khadra Ibrahim Gelle said: “As a family, we had been going to the in the plateaus to defecate. As it was dark, women and girls could face any form of violence or abuse. ACTED constructed 3 communal latrines accompanied by a solar light to prevent aggressions at night. A hand washing station was also installed at 30 meters from our shelter. This completely eliminated open defecation practices, and mitigated the possible WASH related diseases like typhoid. We noticed that most of the time it was our children who had these diseases as well as the elders.”

ACTED had also complemented the sanitation facilities with distribution of hygiene kits that has contributed to the adoption of good practices in terms of domestic and personal hygiene.  parallel with the hygiene promotion activities, sanitation sessions to support comprehension on best practices took place to complement the main activity and generate a behavioural change within the site.

ACTED constructed ninety 90 single latrines in the Sanaag region, accompanied by hand washing facilities and solar lights. 4,300 people can now access latrine and hand washing stations in the region and promotion sensitization session and hygiene kits distribution. This ensured the optimal use of the latrines but also reinforced knowledge on diseases and their transmission. This project was carried out with the support of USAID.
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