Emergency WASH Network Biweekly Update, July 1, 2020

Mozambique’s response to cyclone Idai: how collaboration and surveillance with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions were used to control a cholera epidemic. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, June 2020. We describe emergency measures taken by the Government of Mozambique, in collaboration with multilateral partners, to establish a real-time disease surveillance system, implement interventions recommended by a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) taskforce and rapidly scale up a massive community vaccination program to control a cholera epidemic.

Factors associated with adherence to safe water chain practices among refugees in Pagirinya refugee settlement, Northern Uganda. J Water Health, June 2020. In refugee settings, adherence to safe water chain is critical in minimizing water-related diseases.

Mapping of Climate Smart Programming in Refugee Hosting Districts in Uganda. IDS, 2020. When excluding capital investment, most alternatives were economically viable at the existing water fee currently paid by Ugandan citizens in the area (0.83 USD/m3), and solar driven pumps were down to 0.09 USD/m3. Water trucking is the worst option in terms of both the economic and environmental analysis at 7–8 USD/m3 and >1 kg CO2-eq/m3.

WASH & COVID-19

WASH and COVID-19 in Humanitarian Settings: How Can We Improve Hygiene Behaviors. REACH Initiative, 2020. This webinar focused on community-level preventative behaviors for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in crisis-affected settings. In particular, speakers discussed handwashing promotion and physical distancing measures in these challenging settings.

Commentary: The potential impact of water quality on the spread and control of COVID-19 in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. Journal of Water International, June 2020. Investments should be directed to provide the camps with clean and regularly monitored water by providing filters on the main water sources for the camps when possible.

“This is our next problem”: Cleaning up from the COVID-19 response. Waste Management, May 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic will produce an immense amount of waste to be managed. The waste impact of our socio-cultural responses to disasters is poorly understood.The waste impact of disasters, will increase due to climate change. We propose several research pathways on waste impacts of our response to COVID-19.

The potential impact of COVID-19 in refugee camps in Bangladesh and beyond: A modeling study. PLoS One, June 2020. Findings suggest that a COVID-19 epidemic in a refugee settlement may have profound consequences, requiring large increases in healthcare capacity and infrastructure that may exceed what is currently feasible in these settings.

World’s Refugee Camps at Risk for Major COVID-19 Outbreak. Circle of Blue, June 2020. While new cases in countries around the world begin to drop, the crisis in refugee camps may be just beginning. “If the virus is allowed to spread,” Bergman said, “it could mean a generational setback to the lives and ambitions of refugees, internally displaced people and local communities.”

How Long Should Hands Be Washed? COVID-19 Hygiene Hub, June 2019. Given that COVID-19 can transmit via surfaces, as well as respiratory droplets, it is important that hands are washed at additional and different times to what would normally be recommended for the control of diarrheal diseases.

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