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.
The performance and acceptability of the Nerox™ membrane drinking water filter were evaluated among an internally displaced population in Pakistan. The membrane filter and a control ceramic candle filter were distributed to over 3,000 households. Following a 6-month period, 230 households still had a functioning filter, and the removal performance ranged from 80 to 93%.
Innovative designs and approaches in sanitation when responding to challenging and complex humanitarian contexts in urban areas
As recent emergencies have shown, there are still significant challenges in the timely provision of safe sanitation in natural disasters or conflict situations. In urban emergencies or areas where it is impossible to dig simple pit latrines because of high water tables, hard rock, or lack of permission, it takes agencies considerable time to construct elevated latrines or alternative designs such as urine diversion toilets.
The construction of sufficient latrines for displaced people in rocky, high water-table areas can be a problem. This article describes how shallow trench latrines were trialled after the Pakistan floods, and these proved to be easy to construct and well accepted.
Emergency water trucking (EWT) is typically a short-term, life-saving intervention that is used to cover interruptions in water service or access to sufficient quantities of water to meet survival requirements. While playing a legitimate part in response when used appropriately, emergency water trucking often plays a very different role, as a coping mechanism in the daily lives of a large percentage of the population. EWT has become an almost yearly humanitarian intervention among aid organizations.
After the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Oxfam carried out various activities to improve WASH facilities for communities and additional activities that targeted the cholera outbreak. The projects Oxfam implemented took into consideration gender discrimination and cultural practices and emphasized the differing needs of men and women with respect to WASH. Oxfam employed a gender-sensitive approach that recognized the privacy and hygiene needs of men and women and ensured that WASH facilities were as secure as possible.
Working with Markets and the local Government while responding to the WASH needs of the Syrian crisis
This briefing paper focuses on WASH during the Syrian Refugee Crisis with a focus on responses in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and how Oxfam's WASH responses have evolved overtime. Responses started with typical distribution assistance, to examining the opportunities stemming from the local market with a WASH lens while incorporating the challenges of working in Syria.
The supply of adequate amounts of safe water for drinking and hygiene during natural disasters or armed conflict can be compromised and is one of the priorities in public health interventions to prevent the spread of disease. When surface waters are the only viable source, emergency water treatment kits are usually deployed by relief agencies for the supply of water. One option is the Oxfam Field Up‐flow ‘Clarifier’ Kit, which was designed to treat raw waters with high turbidities to adequate levels [i.e. <5 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU)] and at a relatively high yield (i.e.
Container contamination as a possible source of a diarrhoea outbreak in Abou Shouk camp, Darfur province, Sudan
Diarrhoea is one of the five major causes of death in an emergency setting and one of the three main causes of death in children (Curtis and Cairncross, 2003). In June 2004, an outbreak of shigellosis was confirmed in Abou Shouk camp in the Northern Darfur province of Sudan. As water testing showed no contamination, it was assumed that post-collection contamination was happening. The decision was taken to launch a programme of mass disinfection of all water containers in order to break the contamination cycle.