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The provision of safe water and adequate sanitation facilities to communities is a key part of Save the Children’s work in emergencies. However, improperly built and/or poorly maintained WASH facilities (such as latrines) have contributed to child fatalities and serious injuries in the past (commonly from the collapse of the latrine slab or the septic tank ceiling), as have death and injuries caused by water trucks, especially in crowded refugee camps. WASH facilities and distributions (including water distributions) can be locations for sexual exploitation and abuse of children, perpetrated by our staff, partners, and community members.


This document will outline some potential safeguarding risks of WASH programmes, and give you suggestions on how to manage them to ensure children are as safe as possible. It is not an exhaustive list, but may help you think through a good risk management strategy.

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Cat.Carter@savethechildren.org c.deola@savethechildren.org.uk ssara@savechildren.org