Drought Response: Nutrition and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
International Medical Corps has been working in Ethiopia for well over a decade, providing treatment for malnourished children and programs in water, sanitation and hygiene, food and livelihood security and comprehensive health care. Through its livelihood interventions that support the nutrition program, International Medical Corps has provided emergency seed distribution for nearly 15,000 households and livelihood support for another 1,400 families.
Current drought conditions have limited access to water in some regions, forcing residents–especially women and children–to travel longer distances for water, in some cases resorting to collect from possibly contaminated sources, including rivers, ponds and springs. Although a well-coordinated response is already underway in Ethiopia, growing needs for safe and potable water far exceed available resources. International Medical Corps has scaled up emergency response efforts in roughly half of the country’s 40 most affected districts, known as woredas. This support has included:
- Providing access to clean water, improving sanitation facilities, and promoting safe hygiene practices
- Distribution of Infant and Young Child Feeding information, education and communication materials
- Screening for, and treatment of, severe and moderate acute malnutrition, and training health care workers on severe acute malnutrition management, public health emergency management, including admission/discharge criteria, reporting and recording
- Providing logistical support to transport therapeutic foods, medications and other essential items to health centers and health posts
International Medical Corps is providing access to clean water, provision and improvement of sanitation facilities, promotion of safe hygiene practices. International Medical Corps’ WASH work focuses on strengthening health care and nutrition intervention services’ delivery at the facility level by establishing safe water supply and sanitation infrastructures. We also conduct regular hygiene awareness to enable communities better understand the threat of communicable diarrheal and other hygiene related diseases.
The WASH programming has served more than 440,000 people through water scheme rehabilitation, water trucking, water treatment chemical distribution, and hygiene and sanitation. International Medical Corps has built 367 water schemes, providing safe drinking water.
International Medical Corps has also established standby teams which deployed to the remote and hard to reach areas to provide much needed integrated WASH, nutrition and health assistance.