WaterAid press release – May 4 2015 – For Immediate Release WaterAid Nepal, WaterAid International, is launching an emergency response programme providing water, sanitation and hygiene services to districts hit by the recent earthquake. The development organisation, which has been working in Nepal since 1987, will work with long established partners in five regions providing water purification tablets and hygiene kits to survivors together, ensuring safe water in areas where the supply has been cut off and installing emergency sanitation measures such as pit latrines and trenches. WaterAid Nepal is concerned that in many areas, water and sanitation infrastructure is likely to have been severely damaged in the earthquake, leaving people without clean water and nowhere safe to go to the toilet. In these conditions, there is high risk of an outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea which could lead to a second humanitarian crisis in the affected regions. Over the weekend, WaterAid’s partner organisations with our funding and support reached 4,565 people with enough water purification tablets to last 10 days. Included in this number were 1,300 children whose families received water purification supplies as part of a Ministry of Health emergency vaccination programme. WaterAid expects to reach thousands more in coming days as further supplies, including emergency community water filters, water purification tablets, hygiene kits containing buckets, soap, cloths and sanitary napkins, and other items are received. Tripti Rai, WaterAid’s Country Representation in Nepal said: “We are and remain an organisation that is focused on development work but the scale of need following the earthquake is such in Nepal that we and our partners feel compelled to act, knowing that we must act now to try and avoid a second disaster in the form of an outbreak of disease such as cholera. “WaterAid has a long history of working in the affected areas and through our partners we have an established network through which we can help provide emergency water and sanitation provision. “However we must not underestimate the huge challenges ahead. Many of the affected areas are remote which has very little infrastructure before and reports suggest that much of what infrastructure there is, will have been destroyed. So getting to the affected districts will be challenging as will bringing in the equipment needed to rebuild. “But WaterAid is here for the long term and committed to helping help rebuild Nepal, better and stronger than before.” END For more information or interview requests, please contact: Carolynne Wheeler, WaterAid News Manager in Nepal on 977 9813155322 or email her on [email protected] WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Reon to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 19.2 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 15.1 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @wateraid on Twitter or visit us on Facebook. Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. 748 million people are without safe water, or one in 10 in the world. 2.5 billion people are without adequate sanitation, or 36% of the world's population.