Colombia + 1 more

WASH Colombia: Situation Report, Response overview April 2021



During April, WASH actions carried out by 22 partners, including implementors, benefitted 61,345 refugees, migrants, and host communities situated in 65 municipalities in 21 departments. Strikingly, 50% of the beneficiaries were concentrated in the municipalities of Maicao (La Guajira), Arauquita (Arauca), Villa del Rosario (Norte de Santander) and Bogotá. According to indicators from the Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP), out of the total number of people assisted in the municipalities, 17,154 benefited from hygiene provisions comprising consumables and services, including menstrual hygiene needs. A total of 3,229 people were assisted through safe access to adequate and drinkable water, and 10,165 benefitted from secure access to improved sanitation facilities.

Regarding the total beneficiary population:
In the municipality of Arauquita, 11% of beneficiaries were assisted. In general, the assistance provided entailed hygiene consumables and services, including menstrual hygiene needs. This assistance was provided within the context of the emergency arising from a displacement triggered by the presence of armed groups along the border. The WASH response was strengthened in border zones in order to establish the appropriate conditions for meeting the needs of the Colombian and Venezuelan populations housed in temporary shelters, especially given the breakout of COVID-19 in the shelters, with 108 cases being registered on April 24.1 Firstly, this assistance comprised diagnostics conducted to ascertain the needs, gaps, and how to carry out the response while taking into account existing installed capacity. Afterward, measures were implemented to optimize the water quality, and water storage and distribution points were set up to guarantee safe access to adequate and drinkable water. In terms of activities around sanitation, campaigns were established to disseminate information around biosecurity protocols and promote self-care. Also, activities related to key hygiene practices, including the delivery of personal protective equipment, such as facemasks, which were framed within the contingency process for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

In Villa del Rosario, 9% of beneficiaries were reached with hygiene kits, along with promoting hygiene, behavioral change, and shifting self-care practices. Likewise, greater assistance was provided for safe access to adequate and drinkable water to caminantes (migrants transiting by foot), as well as the dissemination and delivery of printed material containing key messages regarding how to use water efficiently.

Although the beneficiary population in the municipality of Cúcuta is not being included in the analysis, activities targeted towards the caminante population on the Cúcuta-Pamplona route stand out. In Cúcuta, support was provided to the operation and upkeep of lavatory facilities, along with hydration points in Support Spaces assisting refugees and migrants: CAST (CALSP hereafter)2 and in the Support Spaces in Puente Francisco de Paula Santander. Also, as part of community support action, permanent and coordinated water, sanitation, and hygiene work was carried out in Centro de Esperanza, comprising activities that benefitted the in-destination, host, pendular, and returnee populations.

In April, 18% of the total beneficiaries were concentrated in Maicao. A total of 82% of the beneficiaries have received support in safe access to improved sanitary facilities, especially at the Paraguachón – Maicao assistance points.

In Bogotá, 11% of the total beneficiary population benefited from the delivery of hygiene kits.