The United Nations in Suriname, led by UNICEF and PAHO/WHO, support national partners in formulating and implementing programmes for improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene in targeted vulnerable communities.
Use of improved water and sanitation facilities is 96.5 percent in Paramaribo and 90 percent throughout the coastal area. In the interior only 45 per cent of households use improved drinking water sources, 33 percent use sanitary means of excreta disposal, and only 24 percent of households use both. Seventy-eight percent of households in the interior do not treat the water that they collect and only 10 percent use an appropriate form of treatment. Only 26 percent of households have water available on the premises, while most households have to walk an average 21 minutes to get to the source to collect water an activity that is to 80 percent done by women. Over half of the population in the interior has no means of excreta disposal; most excreta go straight into the rivers and creeks which at the same time serve as the main water supply.
In Brokopondo and Sipaliwini, the main source of drinking water for 54.2 percent of the households is surface water (river and ponds), which is generally considered an unsafe source. Overall 22.6 percent of households use an appropriate water treatment method, with percentages being lowest for Brokopondo and Sipaliwini (11.2 percent).
UNICEF and PAHO/WHO support national partners in formulating and implementing programmes for improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene in targeted vulnerable communities. This includes support for the objective to reach 85 percent access by 2015 and 95 percent access to safe drinking water by 2024 for the interior of Suriname as mentioned in the Ontwikkelings Plan of the Government.
Specific interventions to target the most vulnerable populations are implemented by the UNICEF Water and Sanitation Programme together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Regional Development to improve sustainable access to safe drinking water and increase the use of appropriate sanitation facilities in the interior of Suriname. The programme is being executed in 16 communities along the Suriname, Cottica, Tapanahony Rivers in partnership with Peace Corps Suriname. The initiative supports these communities to have an increased participation and ownership in the decision making to demand the fulfillment of their rights to safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation. In future endeavors the lessons learned from this initiative will serve other programme areas in the interior of the country.