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Water is Life

"Water is life" - IRC-UK honours World Water Day

Water is Life

Water is Life

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The devastating drought of 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’s Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) is working with those people who were displaced by the drought in the Mudug region of 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. The IRC and ECHO have extended water pipelines and created 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. In the past, 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 in 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 the IRC ECHO projects in 2012, and this number will increase as more work is done.

This film tells the story of women like Fozia Ahmed Karshe and her fellow water committee member Hawa Ali Ibrahim, who are linchpins of their community, teaching people how to keep their water clean, and managing the water points within the IDP camp.