A coordinated and integrated approach to displaced people’s Shelter and WASH needs and priorities will prompt better long-term health and well-being outcomes for people recovering from crises.
People’s living conditions during humanitarian crises affect their physical and mental well-being as much as the initial crisis or disaster. Overcrowding, poor ventilation, inadequate and unsafe toilets, inadequate or non-existent menstrual health management facilities, inadequate water supply, waste management and washing facilities induce considerable stress and increase risks of gender-based violence.
Shelter and WASH interventions can together have a huge impact on living conditions and public health in humanitarian settings, contribute to environmental health and the achievement of healthier homes and healthier communities. Healthier homes are particularly important for the physical and mental health and well-being of women, children, people living with disabilities and others who are housebound or simply spend more time in inadequate housing.
Building back better after disaster should aim to result in healthier homes that include:
● Access to sanitation facilities and increasingly access to household toilets and facilities to enable dignified menstrual hygiene management
● Access to safe and adequate water supply
● Ventilation and other measures to improve indoor air quality
● Measures to mitigate temperature extremes
● Vector control
● Adequate waste water drainage and, where appropriate, rainwater harvesting
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UKRI grant number EP/T015160/1
Oxford Brookes University