Collecting, consolidating and presenting data in a way that equips humanitarian agencies, governments and water authorities, and empowers communities to predict and prepare for environmental threats endangering WASH services in displacement settings.

 

Displaced communities are confronted with multiple environmental hazards that impact life-saving WASH services, which further harms public health, well-being and dignity. What if WASH stakeholders were equipped with contextualized data to prepare for this?

Environmental threats affect displaced communities globally, with 2020-2021 seeing, amidst others, fires in Bangladesh, floods in South Sudan, cyclones in Mozambique and landslides in Nepal, which can occur as isolated events, staged, or concurrently. They impact WASH services through decreased drinking water quality, pooling of stagnant water causing breeding grounds for mosquitos, over-flooding of latrine pits spreading diseases, and disruption of critical hygiene promotion messaging. These impacts have detrimental health outcomes, further entrench poverty cycles and cause further displacement as communities migrate to cope or survive.

Despite a) the need for increased preparedness for WASH services in displaced communities, b) the advances in environmental risk data collection and analysis technology, and c) increased understanding of risk communication, information gaps remain, that leave WASH agencies and vulnerable communities unable to prepare. The problem sees humanitarian WASH agencies working to continuously respond to environmental threats rather than using multi-sectoral evidence to predict and prepare for them. Enhanced preparation could reduce the negative impact of natural disasters, enhance recovery time for and resilience of communities, and enable durable WASH services with sustained positive outcomes.

 

Call for Help

As a UN agency, IOM is looking to partner with innovators who seek a global impact. Come join us in the search for ways to assess the risk to WASH services from environmental threats to a) support humanitarian agencies, governments and water authorities to undertake contextualized preparedness actions, and b) communicate risks to engage, inform and empower displaced communities to undertake preparedness actions.

Deadline 30/09/2021

I Want to Help!