With access to water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) services largely disrupted across Tigray, the population is at heightened risk of disease outbreaks, including water-borne diseases and COVID-19.
COVID-19 services have stopped in Tigray and, according to WASH Cluster estimates, more than 300 motorized pumping systems are out of order due to lack of fuel, damages or looting. The situation is particularly dire in sites for internally displaced people, including those located the bordering areas in Amhara. A rapid assessment carried out in eight displacement centres in Mekelle reported a severe water shortage, people relying on contaminated sources, as well as poor hygiene conditions and open defecation due to the limited number of latrines available.
More than 230,000 people have received water assistance, with an additional 28,800 people reached with water trucking since last week. The Cluster has deployed 49 trucks to provide water services.
An additional 24,800 people in Mekelle, Wukro, Adigrat, Adwa, Axum and Shire have been reached with key hygiene and sanitation kits.
The assessment team also revamped three boreholes in the Eastern Zone.
Cluster coordination structure has been established in Mekelle, with meetings taking place weekly.
Partners are still unable to meet the increasing demand for water services across the region due to challenges to access fuel for deployed water trucks and engine generators. In addition, only 49 of the 280 water trucks required are available, while fuel shortages are also disrupting the operation of water-pumps. Only one per cent of the targeted population have been reached through emergency latrine and bathing and hand-washing facilities, while only five per cent received emergency hygiene and sanitation items. The security situation continues to disrupt efforts to conduct assessment and provide maintenance in certain areas, including Wukro, Abreha, Weatsbeha, Shire and Mai-dimu. Moreover, water utility workers have not received their salaries for four months, affecting water provision in many locations. Further, due to budget shortage, local government officials are also reportedly not operational, hindering the response.