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Water Quantity and Access

Oxfam emergency water programmes should select the most appropriate approaches to ensure access to and use of safe, sufficient water to affected communities for drinking, cooking and other uses.

Minimum Requirements

  • Provide hygiene promotion on the importance of the safe water chain โ€“ including collection, transport, storage, household water treatment, and use.
  • Provide at least 15 litres per person per day (l/p/d) for the affected population, or provide clear justification where this is not possible/appropriate e.g. severe drought in arid lands.
  • Chlorinate all sources of drinking water for camp or displaced populations, even if the turbidity is up to 50 NTU, to ensure a residual of 0.3โ€“0.6mg/l is maintained. If turbidity is over 50 NTU then start treatment (Bulk Water Treatment).
  • When calculating l/p/d, do not just divide the water production figures by the population but back the figures up with household water usage surveys.
  • Oxfam staff should refer to Sphere for details of daily water requirements for different users.
  • Distance from the water source is the biggest factor in determining household consumption; therefore, always ensure that water points are distributed as evenly as possible.
  • Ensure affected communities have clean and sufficient vessels in which to collect water.
  • When there is more than one water source (e.g. tubewell and tankered water), it should be clearly communicated to users which source is supposed to be for which purpose (e.g. tankered water for drinking and cooking and tubewell for other uses).