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Improving access to safe drinking water and creating a better living environment in the Sanaag region

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Sanaag communities have been affected by the prolong drought. Water scarcity and conflict are the leading cause of displacement, where women and children have to often travel long distance to reach drinking water points.

ACTED WASH project in Sanaag region aims at providing access to safe and adequate water; improve community sanitations and put in place mechanisms to manage the facilities built for them. Four bore holes are being rehabilitated in 4 sites, new borehole drilling is in progress with provision of 5 O&M (operational and maintenance) trainings and tools for the communities located on these sites. 86 blocks of latrines with solar lights are being constructed.

Rehabilitated boreholes and new latrines changed the lives of people Due the recurrent and severe droughts that have been hitting the Sanaag region, rural communities have lost most of their animals. In addition, most of them migrated to other villages where there is no access to safe and sufficient drinking water. Often, women and children walk hours to the water points to use for domestic purposes. The scarcity of water, together with the lack of latrines, has increased the risk for these communities to get water borne diseases. Women are also more vulnerable to acts of violence, particularly during the night time when trying to to access remote latrines.

"After I lost all my livestock and my husband could not afford to sustain the needs of the family anymore, I decided to move to Habarshire where I have established a petty trade. After several times of unsuccessful set up of my business, I started running this small teashop. To be able to run the teashop smoothly, I have to fetch at least 6 jerry cans of water from Habarshire borehole every day. I started fetching the first 2 jerry cans very early in the morning and it takes almost one hour and a half to get them. After 2 or 3 hours, I fetch another 2 jerry cans while my children take care of the teashop, and finally I get the last 2 jerry cans after lunch. I used to spend more time fetching water than taking care of my business. Currently, I receive water from the water kiosks built by ACTED in Habarshire, and it takes less than 30 minutes to get the same amount of water. I am spending more time on my teashop, and this will be a good opportunity for me to make more profit."


In order to reduce the large number of people who are practicing open defecations, and to prevent thousands of people in the region from being affected by water borne diseases, ACTED has built 86 blocks of latrines in 8 sites of the Sanaag region with 54 solar lights installed. The solar lights will reduce the risk of violence against women and children, particularly during night time. Thus, these latrines can be used safely all the time by everyone: assome are designed for the disabled in all locations. All latrine blocks have been equipped with hand washing stations to reduce fecal-oral transmitted diseases.

"I lived in a house that could not get access to latrines and particularly during the night times, and for this reasons we used to go outside. During the day, we used to walk to a very distant public latrines. We could not go during the night time as they do not have lighting. The situation has changed when ACTED has constructed latrines near our homes. There are enough of them to be used by everyone, and they can be utilised all the time as the solar lamps light the whole area. We now feel more comfortable and no longer spoil the environment."