Kabul and Monrovia, the respective capitals of Afghanistan and Liberia, have recently emerged from long-lasting armed conflicts. In both cities, a large number of organisations took part in emergency water supply provision and later in the rehabilitation of water systems. Based on field research, this paper establishes a parallel between the operations carried out in the two settings, highlighting similarities and analysing the two most common strategies.
Background. The West African Ebola epidemic has demonstrated that the existing range of medical and epidemiological responses to emerging disease outbreaks is insufficient, especially in post-conflict contexts with exceedingly poor healthcare infrastructures. In this context, community-based responses have proven vital for containing Ebola virus disease (EVD) and shifting the epidemic curve. Despite a surge in interest in local innovations that effectively contained the epidemic, the mechanisms for community-based response remain unclear.
Within Oxfam, we continue to question how we could have better integrated gender equality in the Ebola response, and how to improve our gender mainstreaming in future emergencies. Why did gender mainstreaming in the Ebola response prove particularly challenging? How did the Ebola response differ from previous emergencies? What did we need to know to improve our response to the outbreak? Are there new ways in which we should approach gender mainstreaming? What lessons have we learned that we can carry forward in our work?
Community-Led Total Sanitation, Open Defecation Free Status, and Ebola Virus Disease in Lofa County, Liberia
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic entered Liberia through Lofa County in February 2014 and spread to two health districts where the nongovernmental organization Global Communities had been implementing community-led total sanitation (CLTS) since 2012. By December 2014 the county had 928 Ebola cases (422 of them confirmed) and 648 deaths. Before the epidemic, CLTS was triggered in 155 communities, and 98 communities were certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF). Using mixed quantitati
The world is witnessing the highest levels of forced human displacement on record, leading to people being housed in urban centres and camps. Generally the sanitation needs of these people are initially met by external agencies. The long-term costs of operating and maintaining traditional sanitation systems can be unviable when communities or local authorities take over their management. Therefore Oxfam has been trialling the Tiger Worm Toilet (TWT) in peri-urban and camp settings.
Open Defecation Status, Community-Led Total Sanitation and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Voinjama and Kolahun Health Districts, Lofa County, Liberia (2014)
The Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWASH) program implemented Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in counties of Liberia to analyze the relationship between Open Defectation Free (ODF) status with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The purpose of the study was to validate informal claims that IWASH communities with ODF status experienced no cases of EVD and to identify which community-based EVD activities were most effective.
This publication highlights Global Communities' response to the Ebola outbreak and describes the process of adaptation, collaboration and partnership which helped the response to be successful, detailing challenges the led to further adaptation. Global Communities' response to the Ebola crisis was multifaceted and maintained a focus on community engagement and a multi-stakeholder approach.
Point-of-use water treatment and diarrhoea reduction in the emergency context: an effectiveness trial in Liberia
Communicable diseases are of particular concern in conflict and disaster-affected populations that reside in camp settings. In the acute emergency phase, diarrhoeal diseases have accounted for more than 40% of deaths among camp residents. Clear limitations exist in current water treatment technologies, and few products are capable of treating turbid water. We describe the findings of a 12-week effectiveness study of point-of-use water treatment with a flocculant–disinfectant among 400 households in camps for displaced populations in Monrovia, Liberia.
In most of the emergency project, we just provided facilities to help people in need to have some living environment. The vulnerable people are always forgotten in this environment. That the case of those ( 4% of refugees ) in the Bahn camp. In order to help them to fully exercise their rights, NGO Action Contre la Faim initiated a construction of specific latrines which will best answer the needs of the vulnerable.
This guide is a compilation of best practices and key lessons learned through Oxfam's experience of community engagement in the 2014-15 Ebola responses in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It provides ideas for all stages of an intervention, including the importance of assessment; principles and methods for community engagement; the challenges of scaling-up responses and changing communities' behaviours; and reflections on how to better advocate for communities.