UNHCR estimates that the average time spent by a refugee in a camp is 10 years, while the average refugee camp remains for 26 years. WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) is a crucial component of humanitarian response and longer-term recovery. Humanitarian agencies and host governments face many challenges in protracted situations and complex long-term humanitarian crises. One key issue is how water supplies should be managed in the long term. Who is best placed to operate and manage WASH services and which delivery model is the most viable?
Safe excreta disposal is a top priority in an emergency, but one that takes time and extensive resources to implement. This technical Briefing Note examines the use of poo bags for safe excreta containment and disposal in urban emergency settings. The Brief also explores ways of building more complete excreta management systems to ensure not only safe disposal, but also to ensure the dignity and safety of users.
Large-scale urban WASH programming requires different approaches to those normally employed in Oxfam emergency response activities. This paper examines the lessons learned from the WASH response to the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. The paper also gives practical case studies of some of the success and failures from the WASH activities, undertaken in a very high-density urban/peri-urban context.