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WASH Cluster. Stanytsya-Luhanska EECP_21072017

Visit date:                             July  20th 2017

Location:                               Stanytsia Luhanska EECP, Government controlled areas

Present:                                 Mark Buttle, WASH Cluster Coordinator (WCC), +380 50 448 4546

                                                Volodymyr Kalinin WASH Cluster IMO Kiev

                                                Andrii Solonenko (UNICEF), WASH Cluster Focal Point for Kramatorsk

 

 

Narrative

The WASH cluster team visited all water and sanitation facilities at the checkpoint one (near the bus station and gas station), and checkpoint zero from GCA side, speaking to the cleaner as well as to normal people using the facilities. Also present were “Teploservice” a company contracted by the rayon authorities to clean facilities in the checkpoint areas: they seem to have full access to the CP areas. Later there was a EECP meeting with all sectors represented, NGOs, ICRC, OCHA, the authorities, SES and the oblast: the raion and the company ‘Teploservice’ shared a list of needed materials with WASH Cluster Ukraine.

People using the crossing fell into several categories:

Social benefits: people crossing the EECP monthly (usually elder men and women, registered IDPs);
Annual vacation, tourists (a few times per year)
Occasional users (people who crossed EECP for personal reason once per year or so)
Commercial users (twice per day sometimes, e.g. grocers or shopkeepers)

We did not evaluate the % breakdown of users, but the last category is significant: the team met a lot of people with empty cardboard boxes who cross daily for commercial reason and returned from NGCA, selling vegetables or other agricultural products to Luhansk shops. Usually such people seem to live in or near Stanytsia Luhanska and they cross twice per day as a minimum. Estimated numbers could be around 200-500 people, a fairly stable figure, year round. The WASH Cluster talked with a group of these commercial users: generally they respond that sanitation services seems better than last two months, with some issues still remaining. All respondents informed that they have drinking water with themselves as well as toilet paper but some of them noted that they have seen toilet paper at some latrines.

 

WASH at the EECP

GCA Checkpoint 1 – Water

Inside the SES tent there is a 1500L water tank filled by the fire service whenever SES request a delivery – the system seems to work. There is a handwashing station outside the SES tent however when observed it has run out of water and soap.

Issues:

Refilling the handwashing stand will take constant attention as the containers are pretty small and will empty quickly. The quality of water in the water tank is reportedly good “it comes from Stanytsia-Luhanska town supply…” however people have no way of knowing that.  SES teams at that location should understand both how to chlorinate the water and how to test for residual chlorine. The support of the 1500 litres tank does not look structurally adequate.

GCA Checkpoint 1 – Sanitation

Towards the back of the bus station on the left hand side there are two groups of toilets, in both cases toilets were useable in terms of cleanliness, although the smell was not pleasant. Also, defecation holes in the floor were fairly large, and there were some gaps around the edge of the latrines where rats could easily gain access to the pits.

There are six blue plastic latrines (initially installed by SES and the raion administration, with materials domated by Mercy Corps) in a group with wooden floors over a pit that looks unlined and seem nearly full. One of the latrines is locked and used by staff only.  Next to them are two blue disabled latrines (so 8 latrines in total in a group), however also with one of them is locked, and being used as a storage area for the cleaner. There was some toilet paper available in those latrines. At CP1 women informed us that they prefer the wooden floored latrines to the “sit-down” plastic units.

Four wooden latrines constructed in 2015, also stand around 10m away from the plastic ones.

There are four large garbage bins near the latrines, which were not full.

Issues:

In addition to small hygiene issues, the smell, and the fact that the latrines will need emptying soon (although it will be difficult to pump them out as pits look unlined) some people crossing the contact line seemed to think, wrongly, that you need to pay to use the plastic toilets so signs should make it clear that they are free of charge. There was no handwashing near either set of toilets, which is a health risk as many people seem to use these latrines and the bus station is a busy area. Keeping one disabled toilet locked is a waste of a useful toilet which could be used elsewhere (e.g nearer to checkpoint zero) where there are no latrines for disabled or older people. No door catches on the plastic latrines means that people need to ask their friend to hold the door shut.

 

GCA Checkpoint zero – Water

In between CP0 and CP1 there is an ICRC cooling/heating point with its own well, drilled a few months ago and since reportedly tested by the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service (SSES) and used to give water in plastic cups to people attending the point.

Issues:

While water looks good and tastes OK there is no certainty about the quality as the well is located in a depression that looks to be downstream of the bus station (where conditions are far from hygienic).

 

GCA Checkpoint zero – Sanitation

There are 5 wooden latrines in a row, which look relatively new..  Four  were reportedly constructed by the SES around 1 month ago (opened at the end of June 2017) with materials donated by ICRC. Latrines pits look lined and could be emptied.

Issues:

While fairly good toilets and clean, there were some maintenance issues: one broken door was observed (apparently broken very soon after the toilets opened) and there was no toilet paper. There is no hand washing available near the toilets.

 

Conclusions and recommendations

In general the WASH situation was far better than reported around 1 month ago, and agencies have tried to improve the situation.

A few issues could be addressed:

One issue for all parties to consider is how to repair small problems keeping things clean and providing toilet paper: can Teploservices simply make repairs e.g. to the latrine door between CP0 and CP1? Also, how can handwashing be managed better near to all latrines, and how can the cleanliness of facilities be maintained. Although toilet paper was seen in some latrines during our visit, regular users of the crossing reported that they nearly always have to bring their own toilet paper or tissues.
Improvements and provision of handwashing at the bus station toilets and install handwashing at the latrines between CP0 and CP1 is essential.  The well near the ICRC facility could possibly be used to fill a small tank with a ball valve and e.g. one or two wash basins. Also provide soap at those locations.
Hygiene improvements should be made at latrines in the bus station (consider relining pits or alternatively constricting new pits for the plastic latrines, then moving the blue plastic superstructure. In any case plan when to empty the existing pits.
Consider chlorination and additional testing of water at the SES tent (CP1). Reinforce the support for the 1500 litres water tank.
At the ICRC facility between CP1 and CP0: consider chlorinating the water, and check whether there is a risk from drainage from the bus station polluting the well.
Consider moving one of the disabled latrines to the location between CP1 and CP0.
The plan for additional signage to be provided so people can easily find latrines as well as drinking water, should be implemented.
The WASH cluster will respond to the list of needed materials shared by raion authorities and by Teploservice.

Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Children's Fund
Cluster(s)/Sector(s): 
Original Publication Date: 
28 Jul 2017
Document type: 
Assessment Report