Somalia: Enrich Health by Improving Hygiene

 
$1,727
$48,273
Raised
Remaining
Mar 25, 2009

IMPROVING HYGIENE FOR HEALTHIER LIVES, GALKAYO, SOMALIA

To build clean water sources and reduce the spread of preventable diseases through health education campaigns for displaced communities in Galkayo, Somalia.

BACKGROUND

Somalia has been without peace or a central government since 1991. Decades of war and violence have led to the internal displacement of over 1 million Somali people. This influx, combined with devastating flood and drought cycles, has created a humanitarian emergency that some UN officials refer to as the worst in the world. One in eight children die before their fifth birthday, and one in three are chronically malnourished. Only 30% of children go to school.

Public health is closely linked to the current humanitarian crisis. Insufficient access to potable water and sanitation, particularly for displaced persons, forces families to rely on unsafe systems. Rain water passes through exposed waste and contaminates surface drinking water sources. Poorly constructed latrines flood into wells used for all potable and household water needs. Moreover, Relief International has observed that Somali families are unaware of the connections between hygiene and health. The result: a rapid spread of deadly communicable diseases, such as cholera and acute watery diarrhea—which can kill a child under the age of 5.

PROGRESS AND KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

With critical support from Global Giving donors, RI has been able to achieve the following key milestones:

• Formation of Community Health and Sanitation Committee comprised of 12 community members who have taken full ownership of the project. • Training of 25 Community Hygiene and Health Promoters (selected from a cross-section of the population, including displaced persons) to deliver education and outreach campaigns. • 39 workshops held to date, with attendance from over 2,000 individuals and 13 different organizations, where participants were taught basic hygiene and health messages – such as the importance of hand washing with soap, how to store water and food, and where and when to seek medical care. • A weekly talk show “Wash Wise” has been broadcast on Radio Galkayo, with guests including notable medical doctors, community leaders, youth and women leaders, and religious leaders. The broadcast included a question and answer period, giving the mass population the opportunity to inquire about issues related to water, hygiene, and best practices for improved public health. The program airs twice a week for 45 minutes. • 10 hand washing stations were constructed at 7 public places, including primary schools, health facilities, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. • Construction of 2 shallow wells at the entrance of 2 IDP camps, and the rehabilitation of 1 abandoned hospital borehole, which is the only source of clean water for Galkayo Regional Hospital. • 540 trash bins were locally welded and placed throughout Galkayo, and a system of trash maintenance was designed together with the community. • 2,125 truck loads of solid garbage were removed from Galkayo to a newly constructed dumping site.


Attachments:
Aug 13, 2008

August 2008 Update: Improving Hygiene for Healthier Lives - Galkayo, Somalia

PROJECT OBJECTIVE To build clean water sources and reduce the spread of preventable diseases through health education campaigns for displaced communities in Galkayo, Somalia.

BACKGROUND Somalia has been without a central government, or peace, since 1991. Decades of war and violence have led to the internal displacement of over 1 million Somali people. This influx, combined with devastating flood and drought cycles, has created a humanitarian emergency that some UN officials refer to as the worst in the world. One in eight children die before their fifth birthday, and one in three are chronically malnourished. Just 30% of children go to school.

Public health is closely linked to the current humanitarian crisis. Insufficient access to potable water and sanitation, particularly for displaced persons, forces families to rely on unsafe systems. Rain water passes through exposed waste and contaminates surface drinking water sources. Poorly constructed latrines flood into wells used for all potable and household water needs. Moreover, Relief International has observed that Somali families are unaware of the connections between hygiene and health. The result: a rapid spread of deadly communicable diseases, such as cholera and acute watery diarrhea—which can kill a child under the age of 5.

PROGRESS SUMMARY Achievements thusfar in the “Improving Hygiene for Healthier Lives” project focused on procurement of essential water treatment supplies and initial community mobilization. RI has convened key stakeholders, including local and district authorities, who are prepared to facilitate project implementation and community education. RI has been careful to engage both the Governor and Mayor (North Galkayo) and the District Commissioner (South Galkayo) so as not to exclude or exacerbate existing clan tensions. Although the community is aware of and ready for this project, more sensitivity and mobilization is required – in particular for IDP communities.

During the reporting period, RI Headquarters-based Senior Program Officer was in-country to manage and oversee the Somalia program, as well as engage regional and local authorities and stakeholders to ensure commencement of community sensitization / mobilization.

CHALLENGES and SOLUTIONS Program challenges experienced result from the intense security situation across all of Puntland, in particular affecting Bossaso, Galkayo, and Garowe, where a significant presence of humanitarian aid agencies exists. NGO staff are increasingly viewed as targets for kidnappings by Somali abductors, who view their hostages as leverage that could pay-out a handsome ransom. As a result, RI has been forced to restrict considerably movement to protect staff safety, while advancing project activities as much as is possible. Through the holiday period (late December 2007 to early January 2008), RI’s movement was completely halted as security conditions across Puntland worsened.

To ensure staff safety, RI has taken more time to carefully plan movement and activities. Taking a low profile, RI is still seeking to take a community-based approach wherein the community largely has ownership of all activities.

Feb 7, 2008

Progress Summary - Improving Hygiene and Health

Collecting Water
Collecting Water

Achievements thus far in the improving hygiene for healthier lives project focused on the procurement of essential water treatment supplies and initial community mobilization. RI has convened key stakeholders, including local and district authorities, who are prepared to facilitate project implementation and community education. RI has been careful to engage both the Governor and Mayor (North Galkayo) and the District Commissioner (South Galkayo) so as not to exclude or exacerbate existing clan tensions. Although the community is aware of and ready for this project, more sensitivity and mobilization is required – in particular for IDP communities.

During the reporting period (September - December 2007), RI Headquarters-based Senior Program Officer was in-country to manage and oversee the Somalia program, as well as engage regional and local authorities and stakeholders to ensure commencement of community sensitization / mobilization.

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Organization

Relief International

Los Angeles, CA, United States
http://www.ri.org

Project Leader

Brenna Taylor-Ford

Philanthropy Associate
Los Angeles, California United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Somalia: Enrich Health by Improving Hygiene