Water and Sanitation

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Over 80 Countries Mark World Handwashing Day

VOA News reports that more than 80 countries marked Global Handwashing Day Thursday. The news service writes that “[d]iarrhea is the third cause of death in West and Central Africa, which is responsible for 30 percent of the world’s deaths of children under the age of five.”

Health Officials Report More Than 200 Cases Of Typhoid In Zimbabwe’s Capital

“Health authorities say 207 cases of typhoid are being treated in Zimbabwe’s capital after a prolonged spell of unusually hot weather amid acute water shortages,” the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. Prosper Chonzi, Harare city council health director, “said Tuesday the disease will be difficult to contain in impoverished townships relying on water from shallow, makeshift wells and marshlands,” and that “humanitarian agencies have been asked to help provide clean water,” the news service writes.

Kenyans Affected By Flooding In Need Of Humanitarian, Medical Aid

Heavy rains and flooding in Kenya, which have affected more than 40,000 people and caused at least a dozen deaths, are “complicating efforts to reach thousands of people made homeless by the flooding, an official of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) told IRIN.” Nelly Muluka, KRCS public relations and communications officer, said on Monday that in some areas “there is the danger of waterborne diseases breaking out after latrines and boreholes were submerged and in other areas, water pipelines have burst,” according to IRIN. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said those affected by flooding “urgently require relief aid such as food, mosquito nets, tents, blankets, cooking utensils and medicine,” the news service writes, adding, “Teams comprising government, KRCS and U.N. officials are involved in rapid assessments of the flooding situation, a humanitarian official, who requested anonymity, told IRIN” (12/6).

U.N. Asks For $447M In Humanitarian Aid For Yemen

The U.N. on Sunday released its Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2012, asking for $447 million in humanitarian assistance targeted toward four million vulnerable people in the country, Reuters reports (Fuchs, 12/18). A statement from the U.N. Inter-Agency Standing Committee said more than half of those at risk will be “severely food insecure” in the coming year, Agence France-Presse notes.

Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation MDG Will Be Met But Inequalities In Access Remain

Reaching the Millennium Development Goal of “[r]educing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015” likely will be reached, “but large numbers of people in the world’s least developed regions will still not benefit,” according to a report (.pdf) released Tuesday by UNICEF and the WHO, the U.N. News Centre reports (12/20). The report “found that between 1990 and 2008, the proportion of the world’s population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 77 percent to 87 percent,” which means 1.8 billion more people have drinking water access, according to Medical Daily (Daley, 12/20).

Blog Reports On Annual World Water Day Congressional Advocacy Day On Capitol Hill

“On March 20, 2013, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases participated in the 4th Annual World Water Day Congressional Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.,” the organization’s “End the Neglect” blog reports. “The Global Network participated in a day of meetings with Congressional offices, addressing the importance…

April Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

The April issue of the WHO Bulletin features an editorial examining the need for safe drinking water in order to prevent cryptosporidiosis, a public health news roundup, a research paper on the deployment of community health workers across rural sub-Saharan Africa, a review of alcohol and alcohol-related harm in China,…

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