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Japan Funds IOM Water Treatment Pilot for Internally Displaced in Somalia

By International Office of Migration (IOM)

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM has launched a 3-month pilot study of water supply, sanitation and hygiene for internally displaced families (IDPs) living on the outskirts of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

The study, which is funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will test methodologies for the promotion and distribution of a new water treatment method that could benefit thousands of vulnerable Somalis in Mogadishu. The country is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years.

The programme aims to provide clean and safe drinking water and will promote hygienic behaviour among vulnerable IDPs and affected host communities. It will also strengthen the technical capacity of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and civil society to better respond to environmental health challenges.

Under the project, drinking water in the IDP camps will be made potable using a Japanese water treatment flocculant technology developed by the Nippon Poly-Glu Company Ltd (NPG.)

Poly Glu is a clarifying agent made from food borne acid and natural minerals and has previously been used for water treatment in countries including Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Iraq.

"Access to clean water is the basis for a healthy life. IOM's mission is to promote, and in this case, directly engage in provision of safe and clean water for mobile populations and host communities in Somalia, therefore increasing their chances for leading a healthy and productive life," says Dr. Aleksandar Galev, IOM's Regional Health Assessment Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East.