Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions.
Rewrite the paragraph below using terms from the list provided to fill the gaps:
disasters, emergency, IDPs, rapid-onset disasters, slow-onset disasters.
Floods, droughts, famines and earthquakes are examples of ……………… that can cause ……………… situations requiring immediate intervention to help the people affected. In these situations, many people leave their homes and become ……………… when they move to other places within their own country.
Floods and earthquakes happen unexpectedly and are examples of ……………… Drought and famine are ……………… because they develop gradually over time.
Floods, droughts, famines and earthquakes are examples of disasters that can cause emergency situations requiring immediate intervention to help the people affected. In these situations, many people leave their homes and become IDPs when they move to other places within their own country.
Floods and earthquakes happen unexpectedly and are examples of rapid-onset disasters. Drought and famine are slow-onset disasters because they develop gradually over time.
What are the most important questions you would need to address in a rapid assessment of an emergency?
Some of the important questions to include for rapid assessment of an emergency would be:
- What sanitation facilities are already available?
- Does the current position have the potential to cause a threat to people’s health?
- Is there space for additional latrine provision?
- What are the local conditions in terms of groundwater, surface water and soil type?
Imagine that in the area where you are working a flood emergency happened and nearly 5,000 people, the majority of them children, women and old people, were displaced from their area. Your office assigned you to be a member of the emergency response team. The team conducted a quick assessment on the existing situation and identified that there is an urgent need for more latrines. What latrine options would you suggest in the immediate and longer term to cope with this particular population?
The immediate response would be to allocate an area for open defecation and provide sheeting and materials necessary to build temporary walls for privacy. This should soon be followed by more organised facilities such as a trench latrine with the intention of starting work to provide pit latrines. Handwashing facilities should also be provided near the latrines as a matter of urgency.
The longer-term needs of the population to be taken into account include:
- providing sufficient numbers of latrines for the population that are conveniently located relative to the dwellings
- providing segregated women’s and men’s latrines that are safe for women (in particular) to use at night
- providing some latrines that are appropriately sized for young children
- providing sufficient latrines that are accessible and can be used by the elderly and disabled
- provision for menstrual care.
What are the possible interventions to manage the solid waste in an emergency situation? List at least three actions that could be taken.
Possible activities to manage solid waste in emergencies are:
- mobilising the community for an initial clean up
- making sure that all households have access to on-site containers for their waste
- in the longer term, arrange a regular solid waste collection service
- make sure waste is taken to a managed disposal site for burial and ensure the waste pit is covered with soil.