Ebola Response | Oxfam | Sierra Leone
As of April 2015 there have been 12,000 cases of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Sierra Leone, resulting in 3,800 deaths. Oxfam, working alongside medical partners has responded by building, upgrading and running ebola isolation and care centres across the country in order to quickly and safely reduce the spread of the virus. These hardware activities have been complimented by hygiene promotion, contact tracing, community engagement and the support to quarantined households.
I arrived at the beginning on November to work in Koinadugu district, a remote part of Northern Sierra Leone on the border with Guinea. We took over three community isolation centres, initially constructed by the WHO, and oversaw their continual upgrade and maintenance as well as the construction of a base camp for the 50 people needed to run both the isolation centres and the associated outreach work. We worked closely with the local department of health to construct other isolation centres and improve infection control systems at the district hospital, including the construction of a new triage area. In 2015, with the epidemic showing slow signs of improvements planning started for transition activities
Syrian Refugee Crisis | Oxfam | Lebanon
The civil war in Syria is entering its fifth year, with no resolution foreseeable. Fighting has resulted in the deaths of at least 190,000 people and the displacement of 3.2 million people, almost half of the population of Syria. Of these refugees, at least 1.2 million have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, with a population of 4 million Lebanon now has the highest per capita ratio of refugees of any country.
The crisis has had huge social and economic impact on both refugees and host countries in the region, and as the violence in Syria continues inter-communal tensions are exacerbating vulnerabilities on both sides.
Oxfam responded to the refugee crisis with WASH support as well as livelihoods and protection activities in both the Bekaa Valley and Tripoli. My role was to manage the WASH hardware activities in the Bekaa Valley, both direct implementation and through supporting local partners. Oxfam ran a multi-agency Emergency Market Mapping Analysis (EMMA) on the water supply market in the Bekaa Valley which researched the complex interactions between market actors and consumers. The Bekaa valley was experiencing a critical water shortage at the time and competition between refugees and host community over water resources was inflaming existing tensions. We worked both with host communities and refugee groups to address the sources of these tensions, through infrastructure improvement works alongside more traditional emergency response.
Rohingya Conflict | Oxfam | Myanmar
In 2012 inter-communal violence in Rakhine resulted in the displacement of 140,000 people, mainly stateless Rohingya muslims who have for years suffered discrimination due to tension with the Buddhist Rakhine community. The Rohingya community were resettled into camps, however they continued to be subjected to restrictions on travel and faced serious difficulties in accessing food, medical care and education.
Working with Oxfam my role was to lead a team responsible for monitoring the public health situation in several camps, especially relating to the risk of Cholera outbreak. I developed a rapid risk assessment toolkit and methodology to replace the existing WASH cluster monitoring tools in use and this was later adopted by the cluster throughout Rakhine State. Later I was also involved in a faecal sludge management project, addressing an urgent need for desludging and processing of faecal waste from the camps.
We were working in a difficult and often precarious political context where our ability to operate was often restricted by the government and groups within the Rakhine community.
Upper Nile Refugee Response | GOAL | South Sudan
The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country in July 2011 after decades of brutal fighting between various factions in Sudan. As of October 2012, 175,000 refugees had fled attacks in Sudan to seek refuge in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity States. GOAL responded with WASH, Health and Nutrition support for refugees living in several border areas.
As WASH manager for Maban County my role was to run the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene activities for a camp of roughly 40,000 people, as well as coordinate the inter-agency response in that camp as the lead WASH agency. I oversaw the development of an emergency water system from supplying 8.4l/p/d to 24l/p/d, which included borehole drilling, water storage and treatment design, the building of a piped distribution network and management of water trucking. During my time in Maban we also had to respond to a large scale outbreak of Hepatitis E, which required a joint hardware and software approach to promote hygienic behaviour and increase understanding of disease transmission. We worked closely with our own health teams as well as MSF teams to understand the epidemic and target interventions on high impact activities.