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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
close this folder2. Water and Sanitation in the Context of Environmental Health
View the document2.1 Environmental Health
close this folder3. The Operating Environment: General Considerations
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 The political context
View the document3.2 Conflict areas
View the document3.3 Technological considerations
View the document3.4 Climatic considerations
View the document3.5 Common characteristics of displaced and resident populations
View the document3.6 Social and economic considerations
View the document3.7 Management considerations
close this folder4. The Operating Environment: Needs Assessment, Co-ordination and Contingency Planning
View the document4.1 Assessment of needs
View the document4.2 The importance of co-ordination
View the document4.3 The need for contingency planning within an emergency programme
close this folder5. Water: General Principles
View the document5.1 Quantity and quality considerations
View the document5.2 Options for providing increasing water supply
close this folder6. Sanitation: General Principles
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 Latrines
View the document6.2 Other sanitation considerations
View the document6.3 Hygiene awareness
close this folder7. Typical Scenarios
View the document7.1 Introduction
View the document7.2 Population displacement into arid areas
View the document7.3 Population displacement into hilly and mountainous areas
View the document7.4 Population displacement into areas of abundant surface water
View the document7.5 Population displacement into existing settlements
View the document7.6 Resident population affected by drought
View the document7.7 Resident population affected by sudden-onset disasters
View the document7.8 Emergency water and sanitation programmes in urban areas
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

3.6 Social and economic considerations

Of particular relevance to the discussion will be the cultural practices of the community with which the agency is working. These are mainly highlighted in hygiene practices and, once again, the reader should use his/her own knowledge of local circumstances to adapt interventions accordingly.

Of relevance to all components of emergency programmes is the local, social and economic context in which the programme is taking place. Large influxes of displaced people can have a significant effect on local economies. Small trade items can generate a great deal of activity. Conversely, large numbers in receipt of food aid can have a significant effect on local food prices as they will often sell some of their ration in order to take part in the cash economy. Staples can drop dramatically in value. This can have disastrous consequences for the local residents, and can cause serious tension between the two populations, with an effect on all agencies involved with the provision of services.

Problems can also arise when the level of service being offered to displaced people is better than that received by locals. This applies particularly to the provision of water in regions where water is scarce. Wherever possible, attempts should be made to make provision for the local use of any new installations. When this is not possible efforts should be made to assist the resident populations as well as the incomers. This is not only in the interest of good relations between the two communities, but also because it is appropriate to benefit the locality for the long as well as the short term. Money is made available during emergencies, and many opportunities therefore exist to add value to local livelihoods a well as within refugee camps. In 1993 UNICEF did just this in north-east Kenya when it rehabilitated a number of local borehole supplies around Somali refugee camps; this helped to reduce tensions between the local population and the refugees.

Where refugees are amongst their own ethnic grouping, an inordinate strain will probably be placed upon local coping mechanisms. This needs to be recognised and programmes designed not only to provide a service to the displaced populations but also to reinforce local capacity to cope with the additional people. Water and sanitation programmes can play a large part here by helping to provide a better environment for the whole community.