The UN migration agency said Tuesday it has launched a project to improve access to water and sanitation services in rural areas of Somalia.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the three-year project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) aims to reduce infant and child mortality caused by water-borne diseases.

“This project endeavors to improve the quality of life for an estimated 175,000 Somalis. As solutions to sustainable water provision and infrastructure are developed, other socio-economic activities will also flourish,” IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Dyane Epstein said in a statement.

“This includes the rearing of livestock, which remains the main source of livelihoods for the majority of this project’s beneficiaries,” Epstein said.

According to the UN, about 6.2 million people need humanitarian assistance in Somalia, due to the failure of consecutive rainy seasons and the ongoing conflict.

The dire humanitarian situation has led to massive displacement and disease outbreaks as many families have been forced to live in congested settlements for internally displaced persons (IDPs), often without basic services.

The IOM said the project strives to strengthen sustainable water solutions and increase the technical capacity of local administrations to operate and maintain water infrastructure.

IOM said its also conducting intensive hygiene and sanitation promotion activities within at-risk communities, having reached an estimated 563,000 people with behavioural change messages between January and October. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/



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