During a natural disaster or armed conflict, infrastructure is often damaged or destroyed -- leading to a shortage of clean water; an increased likelihood of disease outbreaks; and the spread of water borne illness. To meet immediate needs and thwart the spread of disease, International Medical Corps works to provide clean water after an emergency, including: distributing water purification tablets; building latrines; rehabilitating water supplies; and launching hygiene education.
Large-scale disasters often disrupt water supplies, especially in the world's most vulnerable and conflict-ridden communities where resources are already strained or scarce. Strong storms and flooding can contaminate local water sources, increasing exposure to water borne illnesses such as cholera and diarrhea, while conflicts can force displaced people into overcrowded cities or refugee camps, straining existing resources and increasing the risk of disease outbreaks.
After an emergency, International Medical Corps provides access to clean water through the distribution of urgently-needed supplies, including water purification tablets, hygiene kits, and storage containers like jerry cans, DayOne Response Waterbags and buckets. To help rebuild infrastructure, teams build latrines and hand washing stations. Further, to ensure that families can stay healthy until clean water sources are restored, teams deliver hygiene education campaigns to survivors.
International Medical Corps focus on training - even in the midst of the disaster - helps ensure that families and communities have the resources needed to stay healthy long after programs end. Education campaigns give families the tools they need to avoid disease, and as water sources are "built back better", International Medical Corps collaborates with the community to provide training on water-source care and maintenance, helping to better protect clean water sources in a future disaster.