Our mission is to make the world a better place by alleviating human suffering and promoting humanitarian values.
We understand responsibility for the world as the possibility for each PAH employee and volunteer to actually participate in the aid process and influence it. The work of any of us contributes to saving people’s lives. This obliges us to develop ourselves and to raise the quality of our aid.
We work with communities suffering from natural disasters, armed conflicts, persecution and long-lasting poverty in order to ensure their rights to life and health, to water and adequate sanitary conditions, to food, to education, to living in proper conditions, securing life and health during natural disasters and armed conflicts.
For over twenty years we have brought help to people in 44 countries all over the world, we have provided access to water for over 500,000 people and the access to adequate sanitation for 1,5 million people.
PAH in somalia
PAH has been present in Somalia since 2011. With WASH and Nutrition programs PAH supported more than 70 000 people from the most vulnerable communities in different regions in Somalia. Our primary focus was to deliver safe drinking water through drilling new boreholes, constructing water distribution systems, and constructing rain water reservoirs.
She is Somalia/PAH documentary
In 2010-2011 drought claimed lives of 300 thousand Somali people, both adults and children. More than one million left their homes to seek safety. Potable water is an expensive commodity on the local market which lacks any control. No national government exists.
PAH (Polish Humanitarian Action) builds and repairs wells and sanitary facilities in camps for internally displaced persons. This improves the fate of more than 20 000 people. PAH also builds berkads -- traditional water cisterns -- near schools. Access to water and the establishment of vegetable gardens has contributed to a significant growth in the number of children receiving an education.
Maternal and infant mortality rates in Somalia are the worst in the world. One in ten Somali women dies during pregnancy or childbirth, the same share of babies don't live to see their first birthday. There are two reasons for it: poor health care and infections from dirty water. PAH also provides access to clean water in clinics for mothers, thus improving the lives of women and children.
Read more about PAH: http://pah.org.pl/?set_lang=en
From the deep of your heart - World Water Day 2014
PAH's work in Somalia
PAH in Action - see our work in Somalia
PAH has been working in Somalia since 2011.
With WASH and Nutrition programs PAH supported more than 70 000 people from the most vulnerable communities in different regions in Somalia. Our primary focus was to provide safe drinking water through drilling new boreholes, constructing water distribution systems, and constructing rain water reservoirs. In our work we also focus on other WASH components, that is improvement of sanitary conditions and raising awareness on hygiene and sanitation, to make our WASH interventions fully comprehensive. All interventions include operation and maintenance trainings for future mechanics, provision of spare parts as well as distribution of hygiene materials. PAH aim is to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of interventions.
Emergency nutrition in mogadishu
PAH intervention targeted 2 areas: Bondhere district and Halw-Wadag District in Mogadishu - the most chaotic and suffering locations. There were many IDPs and food security was deteriorating every day. During the 15-month emergency nutrition program in Mogadishu we helped more than 33 870 people, most of them were children and women.
Tackling malnutrition in Somalia
“So much of this was new to me,” says Khadra Ibrahim. Her tidy home is fashioned from corrugated metal, tins hammered flat and sturdy tree limbs. Her daughters Happy, 2, and Nimo, 4, play outside while she feeds baby Ubah.
“I didn’t know how important it was to breastfeed or how just washing my child’s hands with soap can stop illnesses that cause them to become malnourished.”
In Somalia, new sources of water are not only changing the lives of Haarhaar's residents, but also the face of the town itself.
"Water for schools" - bulding berkads in schools
PAH has helped to make schools independent from expensive deliveries of water with the use of cisterns.
Providing water in drought affected areas
Rehabilitation of one water source (spring) hygiene and sanitation promotion and capacity building project in Drought Affected Areas of Puntland; May 2012 – January 2013
Thanks to our project water can now be accessed in the village. PAH has built a water tower, water intake points for people, watering troughs for animals and a generator room.
Access to safe drinking water
Most of us take easy access to drinking water for granted. Each day, we use huge amounts of water when we cook, wash ourselves, our clothes or dishes. Meanwhile, one eighth of the Earth’s population suffers from thirst and diseases caused by drinking contaminated water.
Running water in the medical facility in Garoowe
Supporting Maternity Waiting Homes in Jowle IDP camp through the construction of five hand washing sinks for theirs use during medical procedures inside centre and connecting Maternity Park at MWH with water source
Reducing Maternal Mortality in Somalia | UNICEF
In Somaliland, only a third of women giving birth have any kind of skilled personnel with them -- and, in rural areas, the numbers are much lower.
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A three-year-long programme co-funded by the European Commission that targets maternal and newborn health in Somaliland and Puntland, is slowly changing this reality.
The official UNICEF YouTube channel is your primary destination for the latest news updates from the frontline, documentaries, celebrity appeals, and more about our work to get the rights of every child realized.
Check back weekly on Fridays at 12pm ET for the latest upload.
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The child and maternal mortality rates for Somalia are amongst the highest in the world; one out of every ten Somali children dies before seeing their first birthday.
WE are ECHO partner in Somalia
In 2013 PAH became ECHO partner in Somalia. The main objective of our WASH programs is to ensure healthy and dignified living conditions for the IDP communities in Somalia – provide safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities to internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in IDP camps and settlements.
Somalia: PAH supporting IDPs in Jowle camp, Garowe
Successive droughts and flooding has contributed to the devastating situation in Somalia causing many people to flee from their homes to seek refuge, food and water. PAH is providing much needed support to IDPs in Jowle camp, Garowe.
idps in somalia: mogadishu and Jowle
In 2011-2012 Somalia was affected by a devastating famine—caused by ongoing insecurity, an unrelenting drought, and restricted humanitarian assistance—which exacerbated the country’s ongoing displacement crisis.
PAH provides access to water
Our main activity is to provide access to drinking water - whether by constructing new or rehabilitating existing shallow wells, boreholes and other water sources. In emergency situations it is also direct distribution of water.
PAH improves sanitary conditions
Our WASH programs include sanitation component as well. We distribute hygiene kits and build or improve latrines. In Mgadishu IDP settlements we build emergency latrines - this year we will have 300!
hygiene - distributions and trainings
For the last two years we have distributed almost 5000 hygiene kits/NFIs to the most vulnerable populations in both Jowle IDP camp and IDP settlements in Mogadishu. In November 2014 we targeted also 2000 families in Jowhar, affected by flood.
we create waste management systems
in 2014 we started implementing waste management component in our program - we organize clean up campaigns in Jowle IDP camp. We are also in process of establishing pit holes clearing and garbage collection system with the City of Garowe.
is to make the world a better place by alleviating human suffering and
promoting humanitarian values.
responsibility for the world as the possibility for each PAH employee and
volunteer to actually participate in the aid process and influence it. The work
of any of us contributes to saving people’s lives. This obliges us to develop
ourselves and to raise the quality of our aid.
Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) is a
non-governmental organisation founded in 1992 in Poland. We are active at local
and national level, but also provide humanitarian assistance worldwide.
Our mission is to make the world a better place
through alleviation of human suffering and promotion of humanitarian values.
PAH fulfils its mission by empowering communities in crises to regain
responsibility for their own future and become self-reliant. PAH shapes
humanitarian attitudes among the public and creates a modern culture of mutual
help. PAH combines effectiveness with the respect for human dignity.
The most important strategic objective of PAH is to ensure
dignity and basic services, as well with human rights in areas affected by
conflict, natural disasters and poverty. The main filars of our work is to
provide the following: 1. access to water and sanitation 2. access to education 3. access to food and food security 4. possibility to live in decent conditions, to independence and
self-determination 5. protection of life and health during natural disasters and armed conflicts
Our main activities are providing humanitarian aid and development assistance, as well as educating
society. In our work, we are guided by the following
principles: humanitarianism (openness
towards and respect for people of different races, nationalities and religions,
as well as
sensitivity to human suffering), impartiality (we provide help according to
needs, regardless of conflict
sides), neutrality (we do not take a stand in religious or political disputes),
independence (our help is
independent of state) as well as the following values: solidarity,
justice, human dignity, equality, peace, freedom, tolerance and pluralism.
work with communities suffering from natural disasters, armed conflicts,
persecution and long-lasting poverty in order to ensure their rights to life
and health, water and adequate sanitary conditions, food, education, proper living
conditions. We help communities with special focus on the most vulnerable
groups, including children, women, the disabled, refugees, repatriates and
IDPs, securing life and health during natural disasters and armed conflicts.
humanitarian aid, we have built the strength of PAH and developed our own
methods of providing aid which are consistent with the principles and ethics of
our organisation. PAH participates actively in the development of the third sector
towards its integration, professionalisation and implementation of advocacy
activities in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
Polish Humanitarian ACTION was founded in 1994, but we started our mission of making the world a better place already in 1992, as the Polish branch of the EquiLibre Foundation. It was when Janina Ochojska started ORGANIZING convoys with donations for the besieged Sarajevo. It was the first initiative of this kind, which provided opportunity for the Polish society to rpovide aid to people suffering from war and insecurity.
When we say “Polish Humanitarian Action”, we think “Janka”
Janka is the founder and president of PAH.
She is an extremely modest woman, an undisputed authority in the field
of humanitarian aid.
She has always been an active community worker – as a student she
participated in the activities of the Jesuit University Chaplaincy, and
from 1976 she was an oppositionist and an activist of the trade union
NSZZ Solidarność in Toruń. Her aim in life she discovered in France,
where she had an operation in 1984. It is there that she first
encountered the idea of a humanitarian organisation – EquiLibre, where
she worked as a volunteer. She coordinated the French medical and food
aid for Polish hospitals and she organised support convoys to Bosnia. She
felt a desire to bring humanitarian activity to her home country and
inspire the Polish people to care for those in need. Janka was the initiator of the first
humanitarian aid convoy to Sarajevo. She organised the
first Polish aid mission in Kosovo, then in Chechnya, Iraq, Iran,
Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Sudan, Darfur and the Palestinian
National Authority. Since the establishment of the Foundation, she has
been developing and promoting PAH, ceaselessly acting in the field. Read more about Janka...
Twenty two years ago, on the 26th of December 1992, the first convoy,
organized by Polish Humanitarian Action left Poland and headed for
Sarajevo. This convoy initiated a series of more than twenty transports
with aid not only for the inhabitants of Sarajevo, but also for Bosnia
and Herzegovina and other countries of former Yugoslavia which suffered
because of the war. Read more...
PAH’s activity served as a mobilising factor for people from different
social backgrounds, who were determined to help and to show their
solidarity with people in need. Thanks to their commitment, we were able
to organise a series of spontaneous aid campaigns. We concentrated
mainly on immediate aid, by sending to areas afflicted by conflicts and
natural disasters convoys with donations to satisfy the basic needs –
food, medicine, rehabilitation equipment and other necessities
indispensable to survive.
Since then we have encountered crisis situations of
various kinds and have employed various methods of providing assistance. The
experience has helped us greatly expand and specialize our relief efforts. PAH's
mission is to make the world a better place by relieving suffering and
promoting humanitarian values. We help people in crisis situations return to
self-reliance and assume responsibility for their own future as soon as
possible. We work efficiently while respecting human dignity and thinking about the long-term
prospects for a sustainable development in regions affected by war, natural disasters or poverty.
We also engage in consciousness-raising efforts in Poland, trying to foster humanitarian
attitudes and deepen public understanding of the relations between the Global South and the Global
North. We shape a modern culture of aid and teach people about it.
For the last twenty years we
have brought help to people in 44 countries all over the world, we have
provided access to water for over 500,000 people and the access to adequate
sanitation for one and a half million people. We have created the opportunity
to gain education for more than 25 000 students, funded over 10,000,000 meals
for malnourished children in Poland and around the world, provided humanitarian
aid worth PLN 263,000,000 (88mln USD), we have brought help to 17,000 refugees living in
Poland and to 2,000 returnees.
PAH in somalia
PAH has been present in Somalia since 2011. With WASH and Nutrition programs PAH
supported more than 70 000 people from
the most vulnerable communities in different regions in Somalia. Our primary
focus was to provide safe drinking water
through drilling new boreholes, constructing water distribution systems, and
constructing rain water reservoirs.
In our work we also focus on other WASH
components, that is improvement of sanitary conditions and raising awareness on
hygiene and sanitation, to make our WASH interventions fully comprehensive. All interventions include
operation and maintenance trainings for future mechanics,
provision of spare parts as well as distribution of hygiene materials. PAH aim
is to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of interventions.
PAH has been gradually
expanding activities in Somalia with a priority given to the most vulnerable
beneficiaries and locations - especially to far, rural, prone to drought
pastoral areas, then IDP camps and settlements. In 2011, PAH has opened PAH Country Office in Garowe, Puntland and in
May 2012 field office in Mogadishu.
From 2011 we have implemented various projects
in different areas in Puntland. We conducted WASH for schools programme is to support schools with access to water
and sanitation by constructing school berkads, establishing school gardens and
improving existing sanitation facilities. The project was implemented in
cooperation with Puntland Ministry of Education and WFP. In 2012 and 2013 (for
15 months) we were also providing Emergency
Nutrition in Mogadishu. Our projects are funded from PAH's own resources
which consist of individual donations, public collections and donations from
the private sector.
In 2013 PAH became ECHO
partner in Somalia. Our emergency WASH response for IDPs is implemented in
Puntland – Garowe and in Mogadishu.
With this intervention wesupport 20 000 internally
displaced persons (IDPs) people in camps in Jowle and Mogadishu (km.7-13). In
most of the activities PAH engages local community through cash for work
programs. In 2014/2015 PAH includes
livelihoods component in the WASH intervention in Jowle IDP camp, which
includes vocational trainings, establishment of public/private partnership in
latrine dislodging, support in establishing waste management system. In
Mogadishu focus of the activities will remain on emergency WASH response in
k7-13 or other new areas where IDPs will be relocated or arriving.
Beside ECHO program, we
implement minor projects, funded by private donors and PAH contribution. In 2014/2015
we will rehabilitate shallow wells and a borehole in Mogadishu, in areas with
huge influx of IDPs.
Emergency nutrition in mogadishu
Background of the project
The ongoing conflicts, repeated
droughts and the persisting lack of humanitarian access to the southern regions
of Somalia create a regular influx of IDPs to Mogadishu. The continuous arrival
of new IDPs and the remaining poor health and nutrition status of many IDPs
already living in Mogadishu not yet targeted by the nutrition programmes create
a continuous need for providing health and nutrition services.
Between April and June 2012 showed that
IDPs in Mogadishu were in critical nutrition phase. In addition, outbreaks of infectious
diseases such as cholera, and diarrhea have resulted in the deterioration of
the precarious malnutrition levels. According to FSNAU, 2.12 million
people are projected to be food insecure from August to December 2012. It can
be expected that those people might seek refuge in Mogadishu. Also the
nutrition cluster assumes that a significant improvement of the humanitarian
situation is unlikely to happen in the coming three years.
PAH intervention targeted 2 areas: Bondhere
district and Halw-Wadag District in Mogadishu, which were among the most
chaotic and suffering places where vulnerable communities have come across. This
was the front line of the TFG army fighting Al Shabab, and every day there were
new fights. The area has been in the news before it has not been liberated
because of the co-current fights. Consequently, the nutrition cluster had put
it into its agenda of consideration.
The projects was successfully implemented as responses
to Nutrition emergencies and there are important lessons that make them
rationale alternatives to the current unavailability of basic Nutrition services
in these areas. First, based on monthly basis, households almost entirely
received Nutrition services to manage the basic health and nutrition at household
The initiative was to link the health service
promotion and beneficiaries increasing their chances for survival and
increasing awareness for replication in current programming along the tenets of
the MDGs which among others aim at cutting on child and mother mortality.
Additionally, the initiative has led to better sanitation and hygiene
management within the IDP camps which have become dumping grounds as result of
the massive and consecutive awareness raised during the project implementation.
In relation to the continuously high level of
malnourishment in the region, especially in the case of children, pregnant
women and breastfeeding mothers, Polish Humanitarian Action decided to continue
to support both outpatient clinics in therapeutic supplementary feeding for for 15 months.
Implemented project activities were as follows:
sessions of SOYDA health and nutrition staff training · two
cycles of trainings for mothers, community health workers and other community
groups for the promotion of breast feeding for the new sites\ · screening
of all children under five years and consequently register and admit those
meeting the admission criteria of SAM and MAM without medical complications · provision
of the appropriate RUTF (ready to use therapeutic foods) to the admitted
severely malnourished children without medical complications · provision
of Vitamin A and iron and other micronutrient supplementation, appropriate IYCF
services, deworming of malnourished · immunizations
and prevention of common illness including malaria and providing treatment
services at the SOYDA health and nutrition centres · hygiene
promotion, sanitation and hygiene education and promotion of appropriate infant
and young child feeding and caring practices
nutrition program in Mogadishu we helped more than 33 870 people, most of
them were children and women.
The project was funded by PAH (259 900 USD)
and implemented in partnership with SOYDA (Somali Young
"Water for schools" - bulding berkads in schools in puntland
October 2012 PAH has been helping to build a rainwater intakes and reservoirs,
the so-called berkad, in order to streamline the functioning of the schools and
make them independent from expensive deliveries of water with the use of
With the aim of improving access to water for
the school students in Puntland, PAH and WFP agreed to continue a partnership
under the project “Water for Schools”, first established to implement a pilot
project of constructing one underground water storage reservoir in Jalam school
in Puntland. The selection of the schools was
discussed with and approved by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the school’s
Community Education Committee (CEC).
The main purpose of the project is to assist
schools targeted by WFP’s School Feeding Programme with a stable and free
access to water to support their cooking activities. Preparation of daily
school meals, consisting of products provided and delivered by WFP, can be a
great challenge in schools with no water reservoirs. Since water is necessary
for any cooking activities, construction of berkads can be seen as an
appropriate solution. The availability of water will also improve the
sanitation conditions in the schools since water could be used to wash hands
before consumption of the food.
order to lower the costs of water delivery to the school and to ensure
appropriate water resources throughout the year, we want to build a berkad,
i.e. a traditional rainwater reservoir, with the assistance of the local
population. The berkad is constructed in such a way as to collect the largest
possible volumes of water from the higher areas but also from the school roof.
The amount of water in the constructed berkads
should enable schools to establish vegetable and fruit gardens. As already
mentioned, WFP provides the selected schools with the basic food supplies. Yet
students’ diet is still very limited. That is why cultivation of vegetables
(such as tomatoes, onions, or peppers) could serve as a great method of
enriching daily eating habits of school children. Establishment of school
gardens could also serve as a great way to promote knowledge of farming and
encourage local community to introduce such practices around their own houses.
School in Ceel Buh
Ceel Buh, located around
170km north-east from Garowe, is a small town inhabited by poor vulnerable
community. The school was constructed in 2002. There are 306 students enrolled
comprising of 161 boys and 145 girls, there are 6 teachers.
There are two small ground
water tanks located next to the school, built by Mercy Corps and UNICEF. They
are not used as they have been badly constructed and the structures have
cracks. The water poured inside the tanks leaks into the ground. The school
community repeatedly tried to repair the tanks with the use of cement, but it
has not brought any positive results. Consequently, all water is brought and
kept in jerry cans.
School in Hagi Aden
The school in Dangoranyo district was founded in 2002 and there are 420
students (222 boys and 198 girls). The school itself is a building consisting
of one office and 9 classrooms.
School in Ham hamaa
School was built by means of community contribution and has not enough
space to accommodate 6 grades (upper and lower primary level) in 3 classrooms
so some of the class take part outdoor. There are 5 teachers. There are 150
students – only 45 out of 150 are girls. The school has recently been enrolled
into WFP’s projects aiming at increased school enrolment rate among girls by
proving food incentives.
School in Haji Kheir
265 pupils attend the school: 150 boys and 115 girls aged from 6 to 18. Since
2011 the school has been covered with the supplementary feeding programme of
the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP provides pupils with products for preparing
daily meals, such as breakfast and lunch. However, their diet is limited to
basic products, such as rice, porridge, corn flour and palm oil.
School in Jamal
school in Jalam exists thanks to the support of the local community and
international aid. The students’ parents pay only a part of the schooling costs
and the meals are provided by the World Food Programme (WFP).
Local population was engaged in the construction of
the berkad and the constructors were remunerated with the use of food-for-work
method. In this case, the food was provided by PAH’s partner i.e. the World
Food Programme (WFP).
providing water in drought affected areas in puntland
The central problem in Nugal region is that most pastoralists moved with
their herds to the few grazing areas that received some rains. These locations
are generally far from water sources (including Springs, Boreholes, Berkeds and
Ballis). Once water was exhausted, they moved to nearby water sources, causing
overgrazing, exploitation of resources, and exposing livestock to contact with
strange animals. Any subsequent loss of human and livestock lives from this extended
situation means that pastoralists will continue to suffer poor food security as
well as reduced income for essentials such as food and health care. Surviving
livestock will have little nutritional or sellable value in terms of meat
available and lack of milk production forcing them to adopt some extreme
measures such as distress coping mechanisms -- namely reducing meals, selling
household items, migrating to cities in search of labor, dividing family
members, and sending children to relatives, reverting the pastoralists into a
vicious circle. Traditionally nomadic families move the large stock to distant
grazing areas in the dry seasons.
Situation in Nugal
In Nugal Districts, the most reliable water sources are springs, deep
boreholes and shallow wells, which feature prominently in areas with relatively
high water table. Most of these permanent water sources are located in towns.
The outlying villages have a scarce number of permanent water sources in comparison
to the domestic and livestock water demand for the area. Springs act as
important sources of water for these areas. However, springs are mostly
inaccessible by both people and their animals and population depends solely on
We have built a water transportation and distribution system from the
nearby sources which were hard to reach. The village is located in the Eyl
District in Somalia. In the past, villagers and dwellers used the source which
is located in a deep canyon. Women and children walked the steep path every day
in order to collect water. However, due to the steepness of the path only small
volumes of water could be transported at one go. Thanks to our project water
can now be accessed in the village. PAH has built a water tower, water intake
points for people, watering troughs for animals and a generator room. It has
also fitted the system with the necessary equipment and trained a group of
beneficiaries to become operators and mechanics. Moreover, training sessions on
hygiene were conducted.
Provision of permanent and semi-permanent
water sources through construction of springs, drilling of boreholes and
construction of Berkeds has encouraged settlements in Nugal region. The
increased demand for commercial activities (trade, small scale enterprise),
availability of some basic social services (water, health) and enhanced peace
and stability has also encouraged people to settle in some of these centers.
The worst problem presently faced by most of the communities in Eyl
and Dangoroyo districts of Nugal Region are lack of safe drinking water and
poor sanitation and hygiene conditions caused by: (a) failure of Deyr 2011
seasonal rains, and (b) lack of water sources nearby grazing areas. The effects
are: - high prevalence
of water borne diseases and high morbidity rates among the most vulnerable
members of the community, such children, women, and the elderly due to unclean
and shortage of water plus poor hygiene condition - poor hygiene and
sanitation practices - displacement of
large number of pastoral community - significant
reduction of frankincense production which badly impacted the income of
households as well as the macro-economic situation of the region - high cost of
water trucking, however, the situation requires an urgent intervention before
it turns to be humanitarian disaster.
PAH activities in Ceel
Rehabilitation and upgrading of existing
water spring in Ceel Madoobe, and providing water distribution system: ground water
storage at the spring, elevated water tank,
water kiosks, two animal troughs, twin generator room,
Water Supply System Construction includes: water recovery test, spring intake construction, laying
distribution pipes, construction of two water kiosks, two troughs (one for
camels and one for goats/sheep), twin generator room and a water tank.
test: Water recovery
test confirms the capacity of the point to recovery an amount of water
after water in withdrawn at a certain time
Capacity building. Training of village water
committees on water management, cost recovery and Operation and Management
of water systems and Training on Hygiene and Sanitation.
Aim of the project was to provide access to
water through rehabilitated water source systems to 14,790 people and more than
40,000 livestock. Project was funded by PAH.
Project was implemented in partnership with Muslim Aid.
Access to SAFE drinking water
Most of us take easy access to drinking water for granted. Each day, we use huge amounts of water when we cook, wash ourselves, our clothes or dishes. Meanwhile, one eighth of the Earth’s population suffers from thirst and diseases caused by drinking contaminated water.
The public opinion does not realise this, because lack of drinking water does not kill in such a spectacular way as floods, earthquakes and wars. Its victims pass away silently; they are mostly infants and children living in agricultural areas or big-city slums. They die from diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, polio and diarrhea, which kills 2.2 million children per year.
Lack of water paralyses the development of individuals and entire communities. It is one of the main reasons why millions of children do not go to school. They cannot afford to learn; they have to help their mothers to get the water for their households. The European needs a couple of seconds to turn the tap on, but in some places on Earth, getting water consumes 25% of people’s time. This has a huge impact on local economy: the United Nations Development Programme estimates that each dollar invested in the improvement of water and sanitary conditions would bring 8 dollars of additional profit in return.
Seemingly, the issue of access to water concerns mostly Asia and Africa, because this is where most people suffering from thirst, undernourishment and related diseases live. However, such an interpretation is superficial. The world we live in is a dense, interrelated network, a “global village”, in which economies of specific states are no longer independent and in which social and ecological problems have a truly planetary aspect. It is the global processes that cause the advancing water crisis. Climate changes, natural disasters, poverty, armed conflicts, growing population and urbanisation have all contributed to the current situation.
What is worse, the situation is constantly deteriorating. Droughts and floods caused by global warming are more and more frequent, and hence they cut off more and more communities from clean water. Climate changes are caused by CO2 emissions and pollution. Almost half of the world’s biggest rivers are gravely contaminated or are in danger of drying out. Still, every day 2 million tons of sewage is drained into the world’s waters.
Most of global clean water resources are consumed by agriculture. Unfortunately, the irrigation systems used in developing countries are of low quality, so a significant amount of water is wasted. Moreover, as a result of wasteful economy, forest areas, which constitute a natural factor in preserving the good quality and safe amount of global water resources, are shrinking.
The drinking water crisis is also aggravated because of the growing population. Since 1950s, as a result of demographic explosion, the population of our planet has tripled. Currently, there is over 6 billion people in the world, and in 25 years this number will grown to 8 million. While the demographic situation of more developed countries is stabilising, less advanced regions note a significant increase in the number of inhabitants, especially in big cities. The development of infrastructure in fast-urbanising areas is too slow to satisfy the population’s need for industrial and drinking water. In countries suffering from shortages, water is often treated as an object of profiteering. In some cities, prices of water established by private suppliers are over a hundred times higher than the official prices. In Delhi (India), this price is even 489 times higher.
Access to drinking water is a necessary condition for the societies to develop and fight poverty. Without satisfying this condition it is impossible to improve education and health care. This is why lack of drinking water can be seen as a factor that widens the gap between the rich and developing countries.
Lack of access to water can become a problem of each inhabitant of our planet. Consciously or not, we all contribute to the decrease in drinking water supply. Only by combining efforts of societies, governments and institutions can we prevent the crisis from worsening. The global community is now aware of the situation and made it one of the Millennium Development Goals to reduce the number of people with no access to drinking water by half until 2015. Unfortunately we already know that in some regions of the world, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, these goals cannot be attained.
Running water in maternity waiting homes in garowe
Somalia has one of the highest maternal
mortality rates in the world. This has been estimated to be 1044/1000000 life
birth. Most deliveries occur at home with the assistance of traditional birth
attendants. Consequently there is a delay in referring to the hospital in case
Health services in Puntland have never met
the needs of the region’s population and were in a precarious condition even
before the collapse of the former Somali government. The civil upheavals and
influx of the internally displaced people from other parts of the country
worsened the situations.
Women at IDP Camp in Garowe, Puntland,
have experienced complications during pregnancy. Many pregnant women die as a
result of inaccessibility of RH and basic health services which are not
available in IDPs settlements. This situation increased number of pregnant
women who remain at to be highest risk of prenatal, postnatal and postpartum
aim of improving WASH Projects for the health facilities inside the IDPs in
Garowe, The African
Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN)
Garowe field office together with PAH agreed to construct sinks (hand washing
facilities) in the maternity center and connect Maternity Park (garden) with
maternity home do not have water connection (hand washing sinks) in spaces were
medical assistance is delivered, which poses big
challenge during child delivery and other medical activities i.e. maternity
Lab, so this pushes the maternity center to keep clean and suitable for
handling all the activities.
maternity waiting center currently suffers poor conditions of hygiene standards
and there is no separate hand washing stations inside the building unless
inside the toilets. These facilities cannot be used during medical procedures,
Other in the room in the center like lab room do not reach water system and
that is also a challenge for improving a quality of tests.
Maternity waiting homes (MWH) are residential facilities, located near a qualified medical facility, where
women defined as "high risk" can await their delivery and be transferred to a nearby medical
facility shortly before delivery, or earlier should complications arise.
Many consider maternity
waiting homes to be a key element of a strategy to "bridge the
geographical gap" in obstetric care between rural areas, with poor
access to equipped facilities, and urban areas where the services are
available. As one component of a comprehensive package of essential
obstetric services, maternity waiting homes may offer a low-cost way to
bring women closer to needed obstetric care.
Maternity Waiting Homes in Jowle IDP
supports mother with facilities to have normal deliveries and has established a
system of referrals in case of complications during delivery to Garowe General
Hospital. UNFPA developed a referral mechanism to
handle complications arising from abnormal deliveries which are received in the
MWHs. Garowe General Hospital was the referral Point for all cases which proved
to be beyond the capacity of the MWHs Staff to handle, however, for the
Introduction between ANPPCAN Team and Garowe Hospital Management was
facilitated by UNFPA was mad a good referral pathway between ANPPCAN and Garowe
ANPPCAN Provides free transportation for
pregnant mothers in the IDP vicinity when MWHs staff consider the case as
“Severe and Un-manageable” at the MWH level. MWH has worked with community
health promoters who were instrumental for sensitization and mobilization of
the importance of the maternal health and made well aware the community of the
existing services. They had close collaboration with IDP leaders, project
beneficiaries and camp committees, since they had weekly health education sessions
and constantly without any hesitation identifying women at risk the community
level and managed to encourage these women to make use of the free of charge services
available all the time.
The project was one of initiatives funded
by PAH and implemented by The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child
Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN). We are helping 60 women per
Women are the fabric that hold families and communities together, especially in crises.
When emergencies strike, women become even stronger. In times of
conflict, women may have to single- handedly ensure the safe flight of
children, older relatives and the disabled across barren, unfamiliar
territory, especially when men have been killed or are away fighting. In
the aftermath of a natural disaster and in refugee settings women's
usual roles often expand at the same time that even basic task, such as
water collection, become more difficult to carry out. In all these
situations, women must overcome immense obstacles to provide care and
safety for others even as their own vulnerability to malnutrition,
sexual violence and exploitations, sexually transmitted infections,
unplanned pregnancy and unassisted childbirth may increase.
In times of crises, the particular strength and vulnerability of
women are often overlooked in the rush to provide humanitarian
assistance. Yet targeted support to women can be one of the best ways to
ensure the health, security and well being of families and entire
communities. This is why UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund,
works with partners to ensure that the specific needs of women are
factored into planning of all humanitarian assistance. UNFPA also
addresses urgent reproductive health needs that are sometimes forgotten.
Working with partners on the ground, UNFPA's humanitarian assistance
is focused on the provision of reproductive health information and
services. In this context, equipments and supplies were delivered to
service delivery points and health care providers. Women at reproductive
age received hygiene kits, and clean delivery kits were distributed to
pregnant women and birth attendants to assist in clean deliveries. The
package provided to health institutions and staff includes emergency
obstetric care, sexual and gender- based violence medical treatment and
management of sexually transmitted diseases.
Reproductive health encompasses key areas of UNFPA's vision: that
every child is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free
of HIV and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
UNFPA's efforts focus on reducing the rate of maternal mortality in
Somalia, which is among the highest in the world.
UNFPA supports the training of doctors, nurses and other health
workers in life -saving emergency obstetric care. UNFPA responds to the
priority needs of reproductive health information and services through
qualified Somali partners inside the country to build the capacity of
local institutions for long term sustainability.
Obstetric fistula is a preventable injury of childbearing that leaves
women with chronic incontinence and, in most cases, a stillborn baby.
It is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labour without
prompt medical intervention. Reconstructive surgery can usually mend the
injury with success rates of 90 % for uncomplicated cases, but most
women cannot access or afford the medical treatment, estimated at 300 $.
Conflict situations increase vulnerability to HIV. The emergence of
the HIV pandemic requires vigorous and sustained campaigns on prevention
and treatment. The social and economic disadvantages that woman and men
face in many areas have made them especially vulnerable to these
issues. UNFPA programmes include promotion of responsible sexual
behavior, use of condoms for dual protection, and integration of HIV
components in all reproductive and sexual health services.
Gender based violence
Access to health facilities in Somalia is limited. Sexual and gender
based violence survivors suffer numerous downfall, among them weak
clinical management and referral mechanisms, poor data collection and
limited access to medical kits. As a continued sexual and gender based
violence prevention and response initiative, UNFPA undertakes trainings
on medical management of sexual and gender based violence survivors. The
training aims to strengthen the capacity of health care providers in
effectively managing cases of sexual gender based violence through
medical and psychosocial support, HIV/AIDS prevention, administration of
medical kits and referral mechanisms.
Female genital mutilation/cutting
Traditional practices meant to control women's sexuality often lead
to great suffering. Among them is the practice of female genital
mutilation/cutting, a major lifelong risk to women's health and a
violation of basic human rights. This practice refers to the removal of
all or part of the clitoris and other genitalia. It is based on the
prevailing beliefs that female sexuality must be controlled, and the
virginity of girls preserved until marriage. In Somalia, it is
estimated that 98% of women have undergone female genital
mutilation/cutting, with 78% having experienced an extreme form of it
(infibulation). UNFPA works with boosting national capacity to develop
and manage culturally sensitive programmes on preventing female genital
mutilation/cutting. UNFPA supported training for key stakeholders such
as religious leaders and traditional elders and development of media and
culturally sensitive information materials.
Population and development
Development objectives, including early stabilization of population
growth, can be achieved only by basing policies and programmes on the
needs and choices of women and men. Efforts are aimed at enhancing the
country's capacity to coordinate, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate
population and development programmes, and to integrate population
issues in development activities. UNFPA plays a key role in advancing
the implementation of the International Conference on Population and
Development agenda. UNFPA assistance in Somalia includes providing
direct financial support in building the capacity of personnel and
institutions in demography, population and development.
Since talking about sexual and reproductive health is still regarded
as a taboo for the majority of the population, young people need
increase access to participation and education in reproductive health,
as they are vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections, especially
HIV/AIDS. UNFPA is working to promote and protect the rights of young
people. It envisions an environment in which both girls and boys have
optimal opportunities to develop their full potential, to express
themselves freely and have their views respected, and to live free of
poverty, discrimination and violence. UNFPA have therefore established a
National Youth Peer Education Network in Somaliland and Puntland in
collaboration with the global Y-Peer Network.
UNFPA would not be able to successfully carry out its work and impact
the lives of those most in need without the partnerships it has with a
broad range of governmental and non-governmental institutions dealing
with population issues, sexual and reproductive health needs and rights,
youth, gender and women's empowerment. The diversity of the
humanitarian and development community proves to be an asset when all
organizations build on their comparative advantages and undertake a
result oriented approach. In this light, women's networks, youth
organizations, national commissions, governmental institutions, the
private sector and other United Nations agencies are all crucial
partners in UNFPA's daily work.
improving maternal health in Somalia
The leading causes of death and disability for Somali women of reproductive age are complication during pregnancy and childbirth, lack of access to skilled birth attendants, narrowly spaced births, and early adolescent marriages. In
Somalia around 1,044 women per 100,000 women die during childbirth,
placing Somali women among the most high-risk groups in the world, significantly higher than that of other Least Developed Countries (LDCs), either globally or in the Arab world.
Haemorrhaging, prolonged or obstructed labour and infections are the main causes of death. High rates of malnutrition, along with poor antenatal, delivery and postnatal care contribute to these high rates of mortality.
The child and maternal mortality rates for Somalia are amongst the
highest in the world; one out of every ten Somali children dies before
seeing their first birthday. While comprehensive information is not
available, it is believed that leading causes of infant and child
mortality are illnesses such as pneumonia (24 per cent), diarrhoea (19
per cent), and measles (12 per cent), as well as neonatal disorders (17
One out of every 12 women dies due to pregnancy related causes.
Access to maternal services is low with only 33% of births being attended
by a skilled birth attendants. Modern contraceptive rate is around 1%
only. The high fertility rate in Somalia puts the women at a high risk
of mortality and morbidities around child birth especially with the low
access to basic health services including family planning.
In order to ensure that women remain safe during childbearing years, it is vital that a competent health worker with midwifery skills be present at every birth. In Somalia, the majority of births (55.9 percent) take place with the help of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), who often lack training on how to manage birth complications. Conversely, only 3.4 percent of deliveries are handled by medical doctors, 9.4 percent are assisted by family members, and 25.4 percent are aided by nurses and midwives
Since 1999, there has been minimal improvement in the number of births attended by skilled health personnel. Viewed by zone, since 1999, this indicator has increased in South Central and Somaliland but decreased in Puntland. It is important to note that Somaliland has achieved substantial progress on improving the number of births attended by skilled health personnel. This success is largely the result of government investment in health services and infrastructure.
Contraception prevalence also serves as a key indicator toward this MDG. The percentage of current contraception use among married women of reproductive age in Somalia is just under 15 percent. In addition, use of modern contraception methods is even much lower (1.2 percent). These low contraceptive prevalence rates result most likely from cultural and religious factors as well as low education and literacy rates among women, resulting in minimal knowledge about contraception methods.
Antenatal care coverage, an indicator of access to and use of health care during pregnancy, is very low in Somalia. In general, poor access to essential health care services during pregnancy results from several factors including insufficient human resources as well as inadequate and poorly equipped health facilities. Coverage is even lower in rural areas—less than half of that of urban areas—highlighting the significant rural-urban disparities in access to health care across Somalia. The Somaliland government, however, has placed strong emphasis on health policymaking, and thus this zone has had more successful performance in improving antenatal health care.
Here you can read The Countdown country profile for Somalia, which presents in one place the best and latest
evidence to enable an assessment of progress in improving reproductive,
maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) and achieving MGD 4: Reduce child mortality an MGD 5: Improve maternal health.
WE are ECHO partner in Somalia
In 2013 PAH became ECHO
partner in Somalia.
Our emergency WASH response
for IDPs is implemented in Puntland – Garowe and in Mogadishu. With this intervention PAH supports 20 000
internally displaced persons (IDPs) people in camps in Jowle and Mogadishu
(km.7-13). In most of the activities PAH engages local community through cash
for work programs.
In 2014/2015 PAH is planning to include
livelihoods component in the WASH intervention in Jowle, which includes
vocational trainings, establishment of public/private partnership in latrine
dislodging, support in establishing waste management system. In Mogadishu focus
of the activities will remain on emergency WASH response in k7-13 or other new
areas where IDPs will be relocated or arriving.
The main objective of our WASH programs is to ensure healthy and dignified
living conditions for the IDP communities in Somalia – provide safe drinking
water and proper sanitation facilities to internally displaced persons (IDPs)
living in IDP camps.
Our ECHO Wash projects objectives and activities are: · Ensured access to safe water to IDP communities,
through construction of shallow wells in
Jowle IDP camp and rehabilitation of boreholes in Mogadishu and provision of
necessary water system in both locations, along with operational and mechanics
trainings. · Provision of safe sanitation facilities in IDP
communities by rehabilitating existing
latrines in Jowle and Mogadishu and constructing new latrines, also emergency
latrines (Mogadishu). · Hygiene Promotion activities such as awareness campaigns and
hygiene kits distributions, trainings on hygiene and sanitation promotion
and community mobilization for Community Health Promoters’ and WASH Comittees. · Establishment of effective solid waste disposal
management in IDP camp in Jowle, through construction
of solid waste transit stations, awareness and cleanup
campaigns, establishing system of latrines pit hole clearing. · Participation of the IDPs
communities in Jowle and Mogadishu and supporting livelihoods by involving he
most vulnerable people in cash for work
program and establish of WASH committees in both locations.
Internally displaced persons in somalia: mogadishu and Jowle
2011-2012 Somalia was affected by a devastating famine—caused by ongoing
insecurity, an unrelenting drought, and restricted humanitarian
assistance—which exacerbated the country’s ongoing displacement crisis.
As of September 2014, there were more than 1.2
million Somalis displaced internally and nearly one million refugees living in
neighboring countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen. About 893,000 IDPs
live in south-central Somalia (an estimated 369,000 IDPs in settlements in and
around Mogadishu), 129,000 in Puntland and 84,000 in Somaliland – including
those displaced in the regions of Sool and Sanaag. Based on interviews with
UNHCR staff in Galkayo, Puntland, in June 2013, 70 – 80 per cent of IDP
households in that region are headed by women. In 2013, UNICEF estimated that
children make up nearly 60 per cent of the total IDP population (UNICEF,
thousands of Somalia’s estimated 1.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs)
have sought shelter in Mogadishu, but instead of finding safe refuge there,
many of the displaced have encountered a hostile and abusive environment. OCHA states that more than 360,000 people
displaced by conflict live in makeshift tents in crowded conditions in the
capital, the biggest amount of thedisplaced people live the
Afgooye Corridor, which lies to the north-west of the city.
sets a precarious stage for the situation of the internally displaced in the
capital. The government announced in January that it is planning to relocate
Mogadishu’s tens of thousands of internally displaced people to the outskirts
of the city, a proposition that raises significant human rights concerns, in
addition to complex logistical and development challenges. Human Rights Watch’s
new report details the existing serious abuses against IDPs, including physical
attacks, restrictions on movement and access to food and shelter, and
clan-based discrimination against the displaced in Mogadishu.
is still the main destination point for the IDPs coming from affected by natural
disaster and conflict areas but the current situation of IDPs in Mogadishu is
not stabile, due to architectural changes, the new growing structure and the
new actors willing to reconstruct the capital city of Somalia.
Many of the
IDPs have been already relocated or evicted from the camps created last year in
evictions have continued and gathered pace in recent months despite the
authorities’ failure to find an alternative safe location. Some of the IDPs, who feel safe, are
voluntary turning back to their place of origin but still major groups try to
remain in the area of Banadir, in zona K and further in Km.7-13, where can seek
for a protection and humanitarian service. It is not easy to predict, what will
be the reaction of IDPs at the proposed location.
conditions in the Afgooye corridor are extremely difficult. People struggle for
food and other basic necessities as the precarious security situation is
preventing humanitarian agencies from accessing people in need. Some assistance
is getting there through local partners, but the amounts are minuscule in
comparison with the needs. Many people take risks and walk to Mogadishu and
back every day in search of a daily living. Basic services such as health and
education are scarce and rudimentary.
crucial area of the Afgooye Corridor is the area of km.7-13, which is
constantly filled by the IDPs arriving from two opposite directions: from
Afgooye Corridor and from inside of Mogadishu, manly from the IDP camps, whose
dwellers have been evicted. The number of the population in the area of km.7-13
is estimated at 3,000 HHs. The population consist of the IDPs. PAH team met
various people, those who've lived in the settlements since six and more months
and new arrivals, who've settled down from one month or less (mainly from flew
from camps in Mogadishu).
problems of IDPs living in the km.7-10 are lack of safe water (water is
available but for payment) and limited access to food. The IDPs have very low
income sources, limited to casual work in Mogadishu and charcoal, which
constrain their possibility to survive in the area, where the basic products
and service is payable. The lack of proper sanitation and hygiene has been seen
by the PAH team in the area of km.9. - numbers and statistics of water sources
and sanitation facilities are striking and requiring the action.
Jowle IDP camp
The 17 IDP settlements
in Garowe, IDP camp hosts 2,143 households, mainly displaced from South Central
Somalia. The IDPs settlements have been expanding over the last couple of
years. However, the stabilizing security situation in South and South Central,
due to the elected stable Central Government, has seen a limited influx of IDPs
into Puntland. The inadequacy of ongoing intervention on displaced persons will
further exacerbate the lives of the camp dwellers.
IDPs in Garowe live in really bad conditions, with limited assistance from the
Government. Living conditions of IDPs are severe and it a general lack of basic
facilities and services such as security, sanitation, proper shelter, clean
water, health care, education and low levels of nutrition. There are many
challenges in terms of safety and protection.
Main challenges and WASH gaps identified by PAH
in Jowle IDP camp (needs assessments from 2013) are as follows:
- 13 settlements have very poor and
dilapidated water and hygiene facilities. There are 106 latrines out of which
only 61 are being used currently by 10,536 people. It means that there is 1
latrine for about 172 people. Furthermore, the latrines are not demarcated on
the basis of gender thereby posing further challenges to the women. The lack of
latrines also forces open defecation; IDPs do not use soap neither any other
hygienic products (due to economic reason). The hygiene awareness is very
availability in the 13 settlements in Jowle camp is limited to seven shallow
wells in working condition for the whole population. It means that there is one
shallow well for 810 people. Given the small number of water sources many of
the community members are forced to buy water from other sources by paying
almost 3000 Somali Shillings (US$ 0.15) for five liters of water;
- lack of
water impacts hygiene behaviors and health condition of the community and many people,
interviewed by PAH, expressed that hand washing before eating and after
defecation is not a common practice. Furthermore, women and children chose to stay
without a proper bath/shower for many days;
- solid waste
collection is extremely limited and almost does not exist, increasing health
hazards for the community. Only few solid waste transit stations are located
outside of Siliga settlement and they are not sufficient for the whole camp;
PAH provides water
PAH improves sanitary conditions
HYGIENE - distributions and trainings
we create waste management systems
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