22/03/2013 – After a devastating drought in 2011 left families across Somalia without the means to survive. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes in search of water and food. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) with support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is working with those people who were displaced by the drought in the Mudug region in South Central Somalia. Working in cooperation with displaced communities, the IRC is providing water and sanitation facilities to those living in camps and settlements in Mudug by extending water pipelines and creating water catchment areas so that families, and their livestock, have access to clean, safe drinking water. Five boreholes have been repaired in camps and villages.
Before these interventions, many women and children walked for miles to collect water for their families. The IRC has trained community members to maintain these water facilities and communities are responsible for water safety.Community members, in particular women, have been trained on hygiene promotion in order to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases in their families and communities. 40 community hygiene promoters have been trained and they conduct house-to-house visits, emphasising the importance of hand washing with soap and the safe disposal of waste. Over 27 000 people were reached by IRC - ECHO projects in 2012, and this number will increase as more work is done.