Challenges of poor surface water drainage and wastewater management in refugee camps

Challenges of poor surface water drainage and wastewater management in refugee camps

Ajibade O.O. Tota-Maharaj K.  Clarke B. 

University of Greenwich, Faculty of Engineering & Science, Department of Engineering Science, Medway Campus, Kent, ME4 4TB, England, UK

University of Surrey, Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, England, UK

Corresponding Author Email:
31 December 2016
| Citation



Since refugee camps are meant to be temporary and setting them up usually require urgency, little attention has been given to provision of surface water drainage and to a lesser extent wastewater management. As the population of refugees in these camps continues to grow, the effectiveness of drainage infrastructure continues to diminish. In addition, availability of sufficient safe drinking water and wastewater management have become difficult in the refugee camps across the world. The present situation in refugee camps across the world, such as flooding and outbreak of water-related diseases in South Sudan refugee camps, has made the need for sustainable approach to solving the problems to be very urgent. One sustainable way of solving the problems of flooding and outbreak of diseases in refugee camps is to provide effective drainage and wastewater infrastructure that ensures all the wastewater are properly collected, treated and reused for various purposes such as agriculture, drinking, laundry and other relevant uses. This paper therefore presents the current state of drainage and wastewater management in two refugee camps and propose low-cost technologies for stormwater management, wastewater collection, treatment and potential reuse, suitable for these refugee camps.


Drainage, Health, Low-Cost Technologies, Refugees, Wastewater Management

1. Introduction
2. Surface Water Drainage Practices in Refugee Camps and Temporary Settlements
3. Proposed Technologies for Surface Water Drainage and Wastewater Management in Refugee Camps
4. Conclusions

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