Header Main Menu

WASH Technical Operations: Drainage, Vector Control, Management of WASH NFIs

Last updated: 06 Oct 2022

Scope and Application


Insufficient or inappropriate drainage can limit a person's mobility and compromise their security - particularly in congested or confined spaces.

In camp settings, storm water - in some cases flood water or raising groundwater - drainage is the responsibility of the site planning or camp management agency and should account for long-term control infrastructure and preparedness measures that include the wet season. Roles and responsibilities for the maintenance and management of stormwater drainage can be challenging to translate at the field level, as WASH is responsible for management of all wastewater draining from WASH facilities such as spillage from tap stands, showers, or laundry washing. Therefore, WASH teams are recommended to collaborate with camp management, assign roles, and combine efforts from the camp design stage to ensure structures aren't affected by WASH drainage or that storm water becomes an issue for WASH later on.

Ensuring adequate drainage from WASH facilities can be done through a range of methods including connection to existing storm water drains, slabs and floors with grease traps, slopes towards drainage infrastructure, natural drainage canals or enabling it to infiltrate to the ground. The drainage systems need to be designed and constructed with the reference to the contextual factors influencing the region's surface water and drainage requirements.

Vector control

Vector control comprises a series of activities that are focused on the reduction of breeding areas or fumigation of mosquitoes, flies, rodents, and other vectors. Good management of surface water, wastewater, and solid waste and sanitation facilities are essential to limit the proliferation of vectors through source control. Vectors can cause a range of diseases such as dysentery, diarrhoea, typhoid, malaria, yellow fever, dengue and vector control is therefore critical to public health.

Vector control can include - but is not limited to - indoor residual spraying (IRS), provision of mosquito nets, reducing pooling of water at tap stands, distributing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to educate affected populations on pooling of water and potential issues to public health, fumigation programs, allowing for ventilation for fly provision of latrines or ensuring water storage is sealed with a lid to reduce potential mosquito breeding areas. All chemicals used in IRS or fumigation should conform to national and WHO safety and environmental standards and should be disposed of appropriately (refer to Solid Waste Management section of WASH Technical Operations: Sanitation page).

Management of WASH NFIs

A constant supply of quality WASH non-food items (NFI) is required to enable WASH programs to effectively deliver WASH services. A WASH core pipeline project offers a solution to address the complex logistical context which is common in many humanitarian emergency responses allowing identification of opportunities for large-scale procurement and gaps in provision of NFIs. The assortment of WASH supplies and their specification may vary within countries and regions since it is driven by the culture and context, the corresponding needs, and the market capacity. In WASH emergency and/or early recovery setting responses, basic supplies commonly include spare parts for hand-pump repair, jerry cans and household water storage items, Point of Use (PoU) treatment products, bulk water storage, hygiene items (e.g. soap, 70% alcohol-based hand-rub, disinfectant) and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) items. Sourcing WASH NFI items through local markets should be undertaken where possible and given suitable and quality standard items are available, to avoid flooding the market and negatively impacting the local economy.

Tools such as the needs assessment or verification reports, distribution reports, and post-distribution monitoring (PDM) reports are essential to ensure that the supplies have been used appropriately and to receive feedback about beneficiary satisfaction and inform any need to replace or modify the items provided. Distribution should be accompanied by hygiene promotion on how to use the items (refer to WASH Technical Operations: Hygiene Promotion page).



IOM's Global WASH Support Team is available to support country missions in a variety of ways as outlined in the IOM Global WASH Support Team mechanisms, including surge support, remote support and/or monitoring, evaluation and learning.

The Global WASH Support Team can be contacted for additional information or specific guidance at washsupport@iom.int.