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Water Quality Improvement for Global Health

Executive Summary

This proposal aims to determine the necessity of water quality from the perspective of global health. For this refugee camp with 5,000 inhabitants, it is necessary to set up a safe water source that will enable access to 19,000 gallons per day through 50 community taps. The funding will be provided by the government and non-governmental organizations, in partnership with Lifewater. The performance evaluation will be facilitated through an assessment of refugee’s opinion and comparison of the existing resources with planned.

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Clean water is among the main facilitators of global health because this factor influences the development of many infectious diseases that can be prevented by applying appropriate sanitation standards. Conditions such as cholera or hepatitis can be mitigated through adequate approaches to controlling the safety of water that a population accesses. This paper aims to examine the Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and develop a proposal for enhanced quality of water at a 5,000 refugee camp.

Population Health

WASH is designed to target the issue of access to safe water, which facilitates sanitation and adequate hygiene for individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.), this initiative has a long-term objective of mitigating various components that enable WASH-related illnesses through prevention and development of performance measurements. Currently, WASH has six significant goals – creating approaches for obtaining and storing water that would be safe for humans, emphasizing hygiene standards in various communities, helping regions that experience disease outbreaks, identifying factors that can help illuminate conditions connected to WASH by determining their causes, and educating health professionals about the importance of water management. Therefore, the WASH program incorporates various initiatives that can help the global population live safer lives by minimizing the impact of components that enable preventable conditions.

WASH targets water as a significant health threat because many individuals across the globe do not have basic hygiene facilities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.) states that “805,000 suspected cases and nearly 9,500 deaths” were reported in Haiti due to cholera water contamination (para. 12). A large number of people do not have basic facilities such as toilets at homes or public establishments. Nicole (2015) states that “fecal-oral diseases can proliferate rapidly, sometimes to epidemic proportions, when people in crowded conditions lack clean water for hygiene and sanitation” (p. A6). WASH develops solutions for creating boreholes and providing safe water to avoid these problems.

Thus, the WASH program complements global water and sanitation standards by developing strategies for educating health professionals and creating practices of water quality that apply to any population. The World Health Organization states that the global water and sanitation standards include integration of sanitation into the local planning of governmental services to enable access to safe sanitary facilities and water supply (“WHO launch global guidelines on sanitation and health,” 2018). In addition, they should be examined by authorities to ensure that they are not a health threat for individuals living in the area.


Approximately 5,000 people reside in the camp in question; thus the proposal should be developed in regards to the existing WASH standards for this quantity of people. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the primary objective of similar projects is in establishing an infrastructure that would enable access to sufficient amount of safe water for drinking, sanitation, and hygiene (“WASH in camps,” n.d.). The assumptions are that within the refugee camp several institutions are established – a school and a hospital, which require access to the mentioned components. It is also anticipated that this project will be reviewed before choosing a specific site for this refugee camp, which will enable adequate planning of the infrastructure.

The primary step that has to be implemented immediately is access to drinking water. This will require a source of water, equipment, and storage facilities that individuals can use in their homes. Additionally, the UNHCR highlights that it is vital to calculate the quantity of water supply that will be required for a particular camp based on the number of people in it and specifics of application (“WASH in camps,” n.d.). The organization states that per every 80-100 inhabitants there should be one water collection location; thus, this camp requires at least 50 taps.

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The second step includes developing a strategy that would enable the storage of water in the refugee’s home. It is necessary to use approaches that guarantee the safety of this water for drinking and other uses. According to the UNHCR, each person in the camp should have access to at least 3,8 gallons of water daily. Therefore, the camp requires a supply of 19,000 of gallons (“WASH in camps,” n.d.). The equipment necessary to carry out set one and two should be obtained within a timeframe of several weeks before the construction of a camp to ensure it functions properly.

The third step involves setting up sanitation facilities such as toilets that would enable the safety of the camp’s environment. The UNHCR recommends setting up communal latrines for every 20 individuals, and 250 will be required and at least 100 showers (“Camp planning standards (planned settlements),” n.d.). In addition, it is crucial to integrate a testing system that would determine the levels of unsafe particles in the water supply (“WASH in camps,” n.d.).

It should be done before the refugees are settled in the camp and can be completed within a week. Next, educational interventions are required to make certain that the population is aware of how to use and maintain the facilities that will be developed. The process depends on the existing knowledge of the refugees, which will be assessed prior and can continue within a timeframe of several weeks.

The following initiative will help ensure that the long-term health of the refugee camp population is facilitated. As was previously mentioned, testing the water is critical for ensuring that it is not contaminated is vital to this refugee camp because it will help prevent disease outbreaks. It is crucial to ensure that basic healthcare needs are fulfilled and preventative measures are taken to illuminate common diseases.


At the first stage of implementation, it is necessary to set up the initial infrastructure. Pezon, Bostoen, Carrasco, and Jacimovic (2015) state that this may cost up to $1,000,000 for a camp of 5,000. A separate step involves institutions such as health facilities and a school that will require an additional $25,000. Next, personnel costs include people who will maintain the infrastructure, educate inhabitants, and test the water. Pezon et al. (2015) state that this will require $80,000 in the first year, however, in the following years this spending should decrease to $20,000 and according to McGinnis et al. (2017), hygiene education will cost $31,000 per year.

Other spending components are connected to the need to supply electricity and rent equipment for establishing the water supply system and are estimated at $177,000 in the first year and $24,000 in the following years (Pezon et al., 2015). Emergency cost factors include the development of the initial emergency water supply and sanitation system and are higher than those associated with a permanent supply system. Thus, once the camp is entirely switched towards the latter, the yearly operational costs will be lowered due to the reduced cost factors such as water tank vehicles and cleaning services. The long term system requires maintenance and testing of the chemicals in the water, which are the primary cost factors.

Funding Sources

The primary funding source for this initiative is the government because this proposal is developed for its ministry. Also, this project will support a large number of refugees on the country’s territory and ensure the safety of its citizens by preventing possible outbreaks of diseases. It is necessary to obtain support for the emergency funds from the World Health Organization and the United Nations to ensure the functioning of the camp in question. Long-term support can be facilitated through the partnerships with the governmental and international organizations, and funds designed to support WASH, such as Lifewater (n.d.) that helps raise money for similar projects.

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Performance Measures

The following performance measures are superior to others because the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) uses a similar approach for evaluating its national initiatives. A qualitative approach will focus on the safety and life experience of refugees in the camp based on the existing resources. UNICEF (2017) recommends assessing the views of stakeholders regarding the issue of water and sanitation in the camp.

An effective way to evaluate performance from this perspective is to gather responses from refugees regarding the sanitation and water supply. A quantitative approach should consider the number of taps, lavatories, and showers available when compared to the planned amount (UNICEF, 2017). The safety of water in the camp should be assessed against the existing standards. The combination of these resources should ensure continuous funding for this project.

Summary Call to Action

Cost and benefit analysis can be applied to this action plan to determine the consequences of failing to help refugees. According to McGinnis et al. (2017), “10% of the total global burden of disease could be prevented by improvements to water supply, sanitation, and hygiene” while WASH initiatives generate “economic returns of $2 for every dollar spent on water and $5.50 for every dollar spent on sanitation” (p. 442).

This provides implications for both human and economic benefits of WASH projects because they can help reduce the emergency spending associated with disease outbreaks and minimize the number of deaths due to this cause. For instance, 80% of death caused by diarrhea are due to inadequate sanitation contribute to over 1,5 million deaths (McGinnis et al., 2017). The statistics illustrate the consequence of maintaining a status quo that damages the economy.


Overall, this proposal highlights the importance of the WASH initiative because it enables access to safe water supply for individuals. Many preventable disease outbreaks can be mitigated by ensuring appropriate water quality. Thus, this paper assesses the scope of requirements for setting up a 5,000-refugee camp including equipment and specific steps. Additionally, sources for funding and performance measures that help determine the outcomes are examined.


Camp planning standards (planned settlements). (n.d.). Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). CDC at work: Global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Web.

Lifewater. (n.d.). Web.

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McGinnis, S., McKeon, T., Desai, R., Ejelonu, A., Laskowski, S., & Murphy, H. (2017). A systematic review: Costing and financing of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in schools. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(4), 442.

Nicole, W. (2015). The WASH approach: fighting waterborne diseases in emergency situations. Environmental Health Perspectives, 123(1), A6-A15.

Pezon, C., Bostoen, K., Carrasco, M., & Jacimovic, R. (2015). Costing water services in refugee camps. Web.

UNICEF. (2017). Evaluation of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme within the UNICEF country programme in Lebanon (2013-2016). Web.

WASH in camps. (n.d.). Web.

WHO launch global guidelines on sanitation and health. (2018). Web.

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"Water Quality Improvement for Global Health." StudyCorgi, 8 Dec. 2020,

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StudyCorgi. "Water Quality Improvement for Global Health." December 8, 2020.


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