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close this bookWater and Sanitation in Emergencies - Good Practice Review 1 (ODI, 1994, 120 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Objectives and Intended Audience
Open this folder and view contents2. Water and Sanitation in the Context of Environmental Health
Open this folder and view contents3. The Operating Environment: General Considerations
Open this folder and view contents4. The Operating Environment: Needs Assessment, Co-ordination and Contingency Planning
Open this folder and view contents5. Water: General Principles
Open this folder and view contents6. Sanitation: General Principles
Open this folder and view contents7. Typical Scenarios
View the documentAnnex 1 - Further Resources
View the documentAnnex 2 - Useful Contacts and Addresses
View the documentAnnex 3 - Technical Guidelines
View the documentAnnex 4 - Checklist for Environmental Health Needs Assessment
View the documentAnnex 5 - Practical Ways to Prevent the Spread of Cholera
View the documentAnnex 6 - A Gender Checklist for Environmental Health Actions
View the documentAnnex 7 - Chlorine as a Water Disinfectant
View the documentGood practice RRN review
View the documentHow to order
View the documentRRN

Annex 4 - Checklist for Environmental Health Needs Assessment


How is water supplied to the population (standpipe, tanker)?

What is the source of the water (river, well, cistern, rain)?

Is the source safe to drink and likely to remain so?

Can the source provide sufficient water immediately?

Will the source provide sufficient water in all seasons?

Is the source adequate in all seasons?

How close is the supply to the refugees' shelters?

What is the current consumption of water and is it adequate for all purposes?

Is there evidence of a severe water-related disease problem (skin disease, typhoid, diarrhoea)?

Is there any danger of the source being contaminated from latrines, livestock or (in the case of rivers) other camps and settlements upstream?

Is there any danger of contamination to settlements downstream?

Is the water tested regularly? Is it tested at source, during distribution, or at household level?

Is there any system of water treatment?

Is the method of treatment sustainable?

If a pump is used, how is it serviced and what contingency plans are there if it breaks down?

Are washing facilities provided? If so, where, and is there privacy for women?

Where are animals watered?

How is water stored in dwellings? Are there enough containers for water collection and storage? Are containers clean and covered?

Sanitation and vector control

Is there evidence of high incidence of disease which could be related to poor sanitation (diarrhoea, worms)?

What is the normal practice of defecation of the refugee population (note that women's practices may be different from those of men)?

How are excreta disposed of (family or communal system, pit latrines, water-borne system, cartage, random)? Is there a designated defecation area?

Is there sufficient space for defection fields/trench latrines/pit latrines?

Is water available for handwashing close to the defecation area?

How close is the water source to the excreta disposal point?

Is there a problem with the accumulation and disposal of solid waste?

Is there an obvious problem with flies, rodents, cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas, lice or bedbugs?

How is solid waste and rubbish disposed of (collection system, burning, burial)?

Is the watertable high or low?

What is the soil structure (rocky, sandy)?

How will different seasons affect existing sanitation systems (flooding)?

How is waste water drained off the site?

Are there pools of standing water?

Hygiene promotion

What are the accepted beliefs and practices among the refugees? Are there cultural sensitivities, or taboo subjects?

How much do people understand about the relationship between water, sanitation, shelter, vectors, and disease?

Do the refugees have previous experience of communal living?

What are the common hygiene practices among the refugees (washing hands after defecation, storage and covering of cooked food, disposal of children's faeces)?

Is hygiene promotion integrated both with technical work on water and sanitation and also with the health services?

Has any agency accepted responsibility for hygiene promotion activities?

Source: Adapted from Mears and Chowdury, 1994.