WASH Guidance Note for the Horn of Africa Crisis
KENYA, SOMALIA, ETHIOPIA, SOUTH SUDAN, UGANDA REGIONAL WASH GROUP FEBRUARY 2017
The number of people in crisis and emergency food insecurity levels (IPC 3 or above) have reached 21.4 million in sub-region, which represents a 30 per cent increase compared to January 2016. The food security indicators now mirror or surpass those observed during the 2011/12 Horn of Africa drought in some countries. Two countries, Somalia and South Sudan, are at risk of famine (IPC5). Global Acute Malnutrition rates are above 20 per cent in several locations, and over 890,000 children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in the affected countries. The nutrition status of children has deteriorated and their access to safe water has decreased, while the risk of waterborne - diseases has increased. An estimated 9.2 million people in Ethiopia and 3.2 million in Somalia are in need of water assistance, and cholera outbreaks continue to affect Somalia, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. There is exceptional migration and displacement in the region resulting in high numbers of vulnerable IDPs and refugees gathering around camps and urban centres in Northern Uganda, Somalia and Ethiopia. There is urgent need to provide communities with life-saving water supply interventions and hygiene/ sanitation promotion. This will reduce mortality/morbidity associated with water stress, diarrhoea, malnutrition and other drought-related illnesses.
In the extreme drought conditions in the region seasonal water sources have dried up and there is pressure on the functioning groundwater systems, with corresponding rises in the price of water. For households relying on temporary water sources such as shallow wells in seasonal rivers the effort and risks in collecting water are increasing. Conflict over grazing and water sources for livestock have escalated in Kenya. Even sources which are typically reliable throughout the year have dried up (Shebelle in Somalia and Ewaso Nyiro in Kenya), removing the dry season options for irrigated agriculture and livestock watering and causing extreme stress for riverine communities.