ULGII, Mongolia, 28 September 2007 -- Twice a year, here in the capital of Mongolia's westernmost province, Khuangan grabs a shovel, ties a cord around his waist and descends into the darkness to keep the water supply flowing.
Securing a steady and safe source of water is one of Khuangan's main concerns. Few households enjoy piped drinking water in his neighbourhood. Most families must take it upon themselves to provide water -- digging and maintaining their own wells, or using public water-pumping stations.
Khuangan's is a common problem in rural Mongolia, where only one out of five households has access to improved water sources, compared to 62 per cent in urban areas. Fewer than 5 per cent of rural homes have adequate sanitation. As a result, every year thousands of children under the age of five suffer from diarrhoea, and hundreds more are infected with Hepatitis A.
UNICEF is working to provide rural families with better access to safe water and improved sanitation. In collaboration with local communities, the organization aims to improve the quality of water sources and latrines, especially in schools. It also seeks to teach children and their families better hygiene habits, such as thorough hand-washing with soap or disinfectants.
To read the full story, visit: https://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/mongolia_41035.html