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Published on Oct 13, 2015
Water supplies and sanitation systems for thousands of communities in Nepal were disrupted by earthquakes in April and May 2015, leaving people at risk of water-borne diseases. Kshamawati village in Dolakha was displaced by the 12 May earthquake, whose epicentre was nearby. Immediately after the disaster, the Nepal Red Cross Society, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), installed water tanks and two water points, where people can fetch water for cooking and washing. The Red Cross has also trained village members to maintain the pipes and clear them of debris that accumulates and could block or contaminate the water. But the village coordinator is worried there’s not enough water and the community remains exposed to health risks and disease. Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) is one of the main elements in the IFRC’s 24-month earthquake response plan. It includes rehabilitating the physical water and sanitation infrastructure and promoting hygiene with activities such as radio shows, community meetings, illustrated flyers and training for school children.