Vulnerability and access map

Water, sanitation and hygiene


Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) products are anything that support the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. Safe water is not only vital to prevent dehydration, but also reduces the outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera that can prove deadly in the event of an emergency, as well as promoting personal hygiene standards. In almost all responses there will be some form of WASH activity, and this can include things such as water supply, excreta disposal, vector control, solid waste management and drainage.

Strategic or operational?


Basemap, baseline or situational?

Baseline and situational.

When might it be produced?

As early as possible during the response phase for activities such as the provision of clean water, although further products will be needed for longer term planning on activities such as improved sanitation and hygiene promotion.

Intended audience

Anyone interested in water, sanitation or hygiene activities. This will include those involved in planning IDP camps, or other facilities where water or drainage might be required.

Influence on humanitarian decisions

One of the many consequences of a natural disaster is the contamination of water supplies by sediment, sewage and seawater, and there is often urgent need to provide clean water to people within affected areas. This may be provided using water bowsers, or piped or bottled water. Open water sources that have been identified as safe may also be used, although treatment prior to use will be required.

Using the SPHERE standards and population density, IDP camp planners can calculate and then identify the optimal locations of standpipes, latrines, etc. Likewise, those involved with waste management will be looking to identify areas where waste can be collected and treated safely without running the risk of contaminating water supplies.

Where disease outbreak has occurred or is likely then anyone involved in improving hygiene standards and this may be done through the provision of soap or other Non Food Items (NFIs).

Where flooding has occurred, provide products that show the extent of the floodwaters. There is a strong possibility that any water sources within these areas may be contaminated and unusable. Land use maps may give an indication of areas where contamination may occur, such as areas of heavy industry or agriculture.

Where water is a high priority or concern, provide products that indicate the location of pipe stands and other infrastructure relating to WASH activities.

  • Population density
  • Flood extents
  • Drainage patterns
  • Elevation
  • SPHERE standards
  • Landuse

MapAction maps and data repository

Search and download real world examples of maps and data created by MapAction.


Maps and data