D16 Emergency water supplies

DisastersWater Supply
  • Clean water supplies are much more important than food immediately after a disaster. Consider your community’s present sources of water. Then consider the likely impact of flooding or cyclone damage. The only water supplies likely to be undamaged are protected springs and protected wells, particular if they are on raised ground. Unprotected wells on low-lying ground may fall in or become contaminated.
  • Work together to protect these water sources. If there are springs, obtain help to cap and protect these. Build raised platforms and walls around protected wells. If existing sources are unlikely to survive, consider building ferro-cement water tanks by churches and schools and ensuring that their use is monitored so they are not empty immediately after a disaster.
  • Obtain a store of water purifying tablets to use if water supplies do become contaminated.

Discussion 
  • Why are clean water supplies more important than food after a disaster? Is our community prepared?
  • Experts recommend a minimum amount of 15 litres of water per day per person to maintain health. Ideally there should be at least one water source for every 250 people. Will the present supplies be able to provide this?
  • If there is any risk at all of contamination, use chlorine to disinfect drinking and cooking water. The recommended rate is 0.2–0.5mg per litre. Where could supplies of this be obtained and stored? Does anyone have experience in measuring and using chlorine?
  • If people have lost their homes, how could you establish emergency areas for washing, especially for women, so they can wash in privacy and safety?