04 September 2019

Water Supply in Camps

A large proportion of the world’s refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) live in Camps, where safeguarding the basic conditions for a dignified life requires significant resources. One of the key services required to meet basic needs is the provision of water for drinking, cooking as well as personal and domestic hygiene.
Camps present a particular challenge for water supply in that the required infrastructure must first be built or existing facilities must be strengthened. In order to ensure that the infrastructure is appropriate, The The Sphere Project Standards provides Minimum Standards for water supply: 
  • SPHERE, Water Supply Standard 1: Access and Water Quantity. All people have safe and equitable access to a sufficient quantity of water for drinking, cooking and personal and domestic hygiene. Public water points are sufficiently close to households to enable use of the minimum water requirement.
  • SPHERE, Water Supply Standard 2: Water Quality. Water is palatable and of sufficient quality to be drunk and used for cooking and personal and domestic hygiene without causing risk to health.
  • SPHERE, Water Supply Standard 3: Water Facilities. People have adequate facilities to collect, store and use sufficient quantities of water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, and to ensure that drinking water remains safe until it is consumed.
It is important to consider that insufficient water supply can promote the adoption of risky coping mechanisms (such as purchasing water from unreliable vendors), that can cause harmful short and long term health effects. A risk assessment approach should therefore always be adopted. The assessment can also assist in reducing safety risks (particularly the one of women and girls) related to accessing water points in camps. Equally important is the use of monitoring aids that adequately respond to the rapidly changing conditions along the different stages of a camp life cycle.
This module presents a number of tools that address the sustainable provision and purification of water resources in Camps. The environmental, technical, financial and social sustainability criteria of the individual situation must always be considered when building new facilities.
Library References

The Sphere Handbook

This appendix of SPHERE handbook is a water supply and sanitation initial needs assessment checklist. This list of questions is primarily for use to assess needs, identify indigenous resources and describe local conditions. It does not include questions to determine external resources needed in addition to those immediately and locally available.

THE SPHERE PROJECT (2011): The Sphere Handbook. Rugby: Practical Action Publishing URL [Accessed: 19.10.2016]

Alternative Versions to