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Malawi floods: WaterAid launches emergency relief efforts to prevent disease outbreak

13 Feb 2015

WaterAid is providing life-saving water and sanitation facilities to prevent the risk of a disease outbreak in 33 camps providing temporary shelter to thousands of people displaced by the devastating floods in Malawi.

Boreholes and shallow wells were flooded and contaminated when the disaster struck, while some piped water supply systems were washed away.

WaterAid is working with the local government to distribute chlorine tablets to health centres and installing drinking water tanks and water facilities. The international charity is also supporting the construction of private male and female toilets, promoting good hygiene across the camps and installing handwashing facilities.

WaterAid’s relief efforts in Malawi are being funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have donated over £50,000 for the life-saving work.

Girish Menon, WaterAid’s Director of International Programmes, said: “In the camps that have emerged, there is little to no access to safe drinking water and nowhere safe for people to go to the toilet. These dire conditions in such crowded areas can lead to the spread of fatal diseases such as cholera, dysentery and other diarrhoeal diseases.

“WaterAid is addressing the immediate need for safe, clean drinking water and latrines as well as promoting good hygiene diseases to prevent the outbreak of disease.”

Once the initial response is over, WaterAid will support the longer term development of the communities by embedding the water, sanitation and hygiene improvements that have been made.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Laura Crowley on 020 7793 4965 / 07887 521552 / lauracrowley@wateraid.org

Notes to editors

WaterAid

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 Region 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 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @wateraidUK 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 in the world live without safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world's population.
  • 2.5 billion people live without sanitation; this is 39% of the world's population.
  • For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity.
  • Just £15 can enable one person to access safe, clean water.