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Water Supply Back to Full Capacity in Typhoon-Devastated Tacloban

Alongside partners UNICEF gets life-saving clean water to 200,000 people

NEW YORK (November 17, 2013) – At least 200,000 people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippine city of Tacloban and six surrounding districts are now receiving clean water for cooking and drinking, as the first water treatment plant came back to full operating capacity last night.

Since Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines just over a week ago, the water treatment plant for Leyte district was only operating at one-fifth of its normal capacity, leaving survivors of the storm vulnerable to disease.

Critical negotiations involving UNICEF, the Philippine armed forces and USAID have resulted in an initial emergency supply of fuel from the Philippines military to run the plant for four days, with USAID pledging to maintain the supply of required fuel on an ongoing basis.

"It's critical that we provide at least 15 liters of clean drinking water per day for each individual if we are to prevent diarrhea and other water borne diseases,” said UNICEF Representative in the Philippines Tomoo Hozumi.

“What we have seen today is vital collaboration between government, donors and UN agencies that will literally save lives. Because of these efforts, hundreds of thousands of people will now have sufficient clean water to meet their basic needs for cooking, cleaning and good hygiene."

Full operation of the water treatment plant will restore access to chlorinated water to 30,000 water connections. The increase of volume from 15,000 cubic liters to now 60,000 cubic liters also means shorter lines at public taps.

In the last 48 hours, UNICEF has been trucking and airlifting water and sanitation supplies to Tacloban and other affected areas including Roxas, in an ongoing effort to restore clean water supplies, and reduce the threat of diseases caused by poor sanitation and contaminated water.

The next steps will be to repair water distribution lines and provide water in the harder to reach areas.

How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Website: www.unicefusa.org/philippines
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Find us on Twitter: @unicefusa, #Haiyan; join us on Facebook: UNICEF-USA

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About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. 

For additional information, please contact:

Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, asioris@unicefusa.org

Marci Greenberg, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2462, mgreenberg@unicefusa.org

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