Water Access in Times of Crisis

Published May 29, 2018 by Khalif Omar Kobane

Salado, filling her jerrycans at the water delivery point in Bilisa IDP camp, Afmadow.


Seeing that she’s next in the queue, Salado Mohamed Abdi, prepares her water containers (also known as jerrycans) to receive water for her family. The same queue, the same hours every day. This is not an ideal sitiuation for the 71 year old widow and her family but her need to access this most basic need is greater.  As of now, water trucking is the only way the 96 households in Bilisa IDP camp in Afmadow town can access water.

A Water Hygiene and Sanitation initiative, implemented by Adeso and funded by the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), provides emergency water in Afmadow town and targets 800 households including Salado’s family. Like many other pastoral destitute households, Salado and her family escaped their hometown Bualle, (an extremist controlled area in Lower Juba, in search of assistance from relatives and others willing to help. The family of six now survive on the charity from community members and a distant relative.

“I wake up as early as 5am and go back home at 3pm in the afternoon to get my family something to eat and water to drink that day. Water is often more difficult to get because it’s expensive. People can give away food, but they can't spare water,” explained Salado.

The initiative provided emergency water via water trucking which lasted 28 days. The families in the camp had no other safe source of water and the 45 liters of water per-day they get, even if temporary, was a much-needed relief from the water crisis.

“Before the water trucking to the village, the situation was bad, we didn’t have water to drink or cook food with, but today as you can see we are able to access clean water thanks to the Adeso,” Salado said.

In addition to the water trucking, more than 800 families received hygiene kits, such as water treatment kits, hand soaps and water jerry cans to store water. They also participated in hygiene promotion sessions to improve hygiene practices and reduce the spread of water-borne disease.