Climate change threatens water supply for refugees — here’s what UNHCR is doing about it

Both lack and excess of water can be just as challenging for humanitarian workers

Sudanese refugees from the Darfur region looking for a new shelter in eastern Chad after heavy rains in 2004. (UNHCR/Hélène Caux)

An individual in the European Union consumes 128 litres of water per day. In the United States, it’s over 300 litres.

“Providing water is not an act of charity, but a fulfillment of a human right.”

Refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region living in Kounougou camp, eastern Chad, in 2008. (UNHCR/Hélène Caux)

Kounougou camp: Building peace by sharing the little water that’s left

UNHCR is only able to provide 14 litres of water per person per day in the camp.

Refugee girls from Darfur gather near a water point in Kounoungou camp in Chad. (UNHCR/Hélène Caux)

“When UNHCR brings safe water, it is very appreciated by the local community. It reduces tensions and helps build peaceful coexistence.”

Heavy monsoon rains forced thousands of Rohingya refugees to move to new shelters in Bangladesh in June 2018. (UNHCR/Patrick Brown)

Cox’s Bazar: When too much water is also a problem

From a sanitation perspective, flooding generates another big problem — water contamination.

Heavy monsoon rains forced thousands of Rohingya refugees to move to shelters in Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. (UNHCR/Patrick Brown)

“If refugees have the right to work, they can pay for water bills and contribute to sustainable water supply.”

A young Rohingya refugee using water facilities powered by solar in Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. (UNHCR/Areez Tanbeen Rahman)

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