Mozambique

WASH Activities for IDPs and Host Communities

  • Project Name
    WASH Activities for IDPs and Host Communities
  • Project Phase
    2020 to 2021
  • Funding
    Swiss Solidarity and UNICEF
  • Thematic focus
    Humanitarian Response

Hurricanes Idai and Kenneth swept across Mozambique in 2019, striking within six weeks of each other and devastating entire areas in the north of the country. Over 200,000 houses and more than 700,000 hectares of agricultural land were destroyed. 161,000 people had to leave their villages and settle elsewhere.

Helvetas supported displaced families in the districts of Ancuabe and Chiure in improving hygiene conditions. Around 9,500 bottles of water and sanitizer were distributed to 3,144 families, as well as 4,500 hygiene kits. Also, 2,300 concrete slabs were made for latrines.

During these distribution campaigns, thousands of displaced people streamed into the villages, fleeing attacks and violence by insurgents in the north of the country. The number of internally displaced people in the region rose from 36,000 in October 2020 to 120,000 people in September 2021. The local authorities did not set up temporary refugee accommodation, but instead settled displaced families immediately and provided land for housing and agriculture.

The spatial planning and infrastructure authorities regularly surveyed the number of displaced persons to calculate water requirements and the need for sanitary facilities, primarily latrines. They also conducted an ongoing search for new settlement areas to accommodate the influx of people. Helvetas worked closely with the local NGO AMASI and collaborated with both displaced people and the local population to avoid conflicts.

Four handpump-operated wells were installed and six solar wells were built. Water committees have been established and trained for each of these water points. Women, men and people with disabilities are represented in these committees, which organize the distribution of water and the maintenance of the wells. Two outbreaks of cholera were quickly contained thanks to solid cooperation with all partners in the districts.