Almost three decades of civil war devastated water infrastructure across Angola. Sanitation coverage is minimal and millions live without clean water or basic sanitation. People struggle to cope with the harmful effects of dirty water and poor sanitation. Diseases like cholera and diarrhoea are rife with children under the age of five most vulnerable.

In 1999, TRAID funding enabled UNICEF to respond to these urgent problems by improving access to clean water and sanitation in 100,000 households in Bengo, a province in North West Angola. Low cost innovative technologies were used to get clean water to families including manual well drilling, constructing hand pump water points, basic water purifiers and water stand posts. In households and villages, latrines were built serving around 700 household members.

Local people were trained to carry out basic maintenance of water facilities to ensure that pumps, wells and filtration systems continue to be sustainable in the long term. At the same time as working in villages to establish access to clean water, UNICEF also worked with the government to plan, implement and sustain national water and sanitation projects. In addition, the UNICEF project implemented a national sanitation education campaign aiming to reach at least half the national population through community mobilisation and primary school programmes.