Good hygiene is only possible with clean water. We all need clean water to survive, but when communities are devastated by conflict, this basic human right can become cut off or contaminated, leaving families without water to drink, wash or grow vital food crops.
During Sri Lanka’s three decades of civil war, water wells were often used by retreating troops to dispose of unwanted landmines and other explosives, leaving a dangerous legacy behind.
For Sasikala, Patimarani, Kantha Samey and their families, this was the frightening reality. They come from the village of Intherapuram in northern Sri Lanka, home to about 350 people. In 2000, their homes were overrun by the fighting, forcing them to flee.
Sasikala, Intherapuram village, Sri Lanka
Even when the conflict ended, they were unable to return home. Thousands of landmines had been laid, forming the vast Muhamalai defensive minefield.