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WASH (water, hygiene, and sanitation services) are extremely essential to communities’ well-being and development.

 Access to clean water and sanitation is, no doubt, one of the most important basic human needs. 

Nevertheless, there are millions of refugees who still have no access to clean water to meet their needs for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. 

This article will discuss the obstacles that hamper refugees’ access to WASH facilities.

Infrastructure Challenges

There are several pressing challenges that impede the construction of WASH services and facilities in refugee communities.

Such challenges involve the difficulty of installing the required infrastructure in remote areas where refugee camps are set up.  

The WASH infrastructure challenges are highlighted as follows:

    • The interruption of the water supply system.
    • The absence of a water quality monitoring system.
    • Lack of planning of WASH risk assessment maintenance.
    • The absence of a separate budget dedicated to WASH services.

Supply Chain Challenges

Not only is establishing WASH facilities in refugee camps met with infrastructure challenges but also, many supply chain challenges hinder the implementation of sanitation projects.

Some supply chain challenges include the following:

    • Increasing freight prices. 
    • Limited transportation options.
    • Port congestion.
    • The inflated prices of the procurement of the raw materials needed for building the WASH infrastructure. 

Such materials include water treatment chemicals, water storage tanks, and latrine materials.

Funding Challenges

Lack of financial resources and limited funding sources are key factors that obstruct the establishment of WASH services and sanitation facilities in the refugee camps.

Several inconsistent sources mainly fund WASH projects in refugee communities. These include charities, nonprofits, and NGOs. 

Such funding challenges are hindering the supply of raw materials as well as the funding of the workforce needed for the implementation of WASH projects. 

Human Resource Challenges

Human resources constitute a crucial component for the implementation of any project. 

These human resources are important for the management, planning, and implementation of WASH services and facilities. 

Indeed, one of the major hindrances contributing to the shortages in WASH services in refugee camps is the need for the necessary workforce. 

The implementation and maintenance of  WAHS services in refugee communities require experts and trained personnel. 

Those include, such as engineers, healthcare workers, and construction workers.

Climate and Environmental Challenges

Undoubtedly, several climate and environmental challenges affect water quality and availability in refugee camps. 

These environmental issues include the following:

    1. Increased water temperature causes eutrophication that reduces drinking and cooking water quality.
    1. Increased sediment and nutrient inputs due to extreme storms.
    1. The existence of non-point source pollution that occurs from land runoff, drainage, or precipitation. 
      • Types of non-point source pollution include toxic chemicals, bacteria, fertilizers, etc. 
    1.  The process of chlorination that is used to treat the water in the water camps usually needs to be improved to purify bacterial infestation. 

Technology and Innovation Solutions

Due to the scarcity of financial resources, refugee camps need more technological and innovative solutions, such as mobile water treatment units and low-cost sanitation solutions.

This factor compounds the problem of the absence of WASH services in remote communities of refugees. 

Moreover, some of the tools needed for extracting water are absent due to the scarcity of funding, include

    • Gravity-flow systems.
    • Solar pumping. 
    • Water storage.
    • Hand pumps.

Thousands of Syrian refugees are struggling to meet their daily needs for safe water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

 This situation contributes heavily to the hardships they are facing on a daily basis. 

Therefore, at Bonyan Organization, we launched the “ Provide Clean Water to Syrian Camps” campaign, which aims at building wells at refugee camps in northwest Syria. 

Join our efforts now and support our campaigns to help improve the lives of refugees.

Donate now at this link: (click here)



How do you get a water supply in a refugee camp?

We can get a water supply in a refugee camp by pulling it using solar-powered water pumps from chlorinated water tanks.

What are the challenges faced in improving access to water and sanitation?

The challenges in improving access to water and sanitation include financial, infrastructure, and environmental challenges. 

What are the challenges of water and sanitation in developing countries?

The challenges of water and sanitation in developing countries include water shortages, poor water quality, and flooding.