Training Courses
Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Emergencies (WASH)

In any humanitarian crisis, communities need access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.

Waterborne diseases are major killers in disasters and complex emergencies, where large populations are displaced and/or moving or where local water infrastructure has been destroyed by an earthquake, typhoon or bombing. Effective intervention can reduce the spread of disease, alleviate suffering and ultimately save lives. When local emergency response workers understand how to apply basic Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) strategies, more lives can be saved. This course introduces participants to the WASH sector in emergencies and the international SPHERE standards that apply as well as how the sector is impacted and supported by other sectors in an international emergency operation.

If you require this course to be tailored for your organisation, please visit Customised Training page for more information.

18 Oct - 23 Oct 2020
Victorian Emergency Management Institute (VEMI) 601 Mount Macedon Rd, Mount Macedon VIC 3441
Address: 601 Mount Macedon Rd, Mount Macedon VIC 3441

Degree of Difficulty

This is a full six day intensive residential course that includes both indoor and outdoor activities so please ensure you are fit and well to gain the most from your training experience.

This highly practical course provides an overview of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in humanitarian emergency operations. The course equips and refreshes individuals with the background and knowledge to apply WASH skills through a combination of theory, practical exercises, scenarios and simulations.


Who is this course for?

This course is an ideal introduction to public health engineering in emergencies for aid and humanitarian workers and volunteers of all disciplines, levels and experience. It suits environmental and public health engineers and particularly those whose technical skills are more oriented toward large-scale urban systems, who want to adapt their skills to humanitarian emergency work; public and environmental health specialists who would be involved in emergency responses in Australia and the region would also benefit as well as anyone who has already worked or volunteered in emergency relief and wants to improve or learn new public health engineering skills.

The course is in English and a reasonable proficiency is required for by participants.


Learning Objectives

Aims and Objectives

The purpose of this course is to introduce participants to the concepts of public health engineering and environmental health in emergencies, standard equipment used in the field and the basics of WASH cluster coordination.

Course Objectives

  • the links between water, sanitation and health
  • the nature of, and the threats posed by, environmental diseases
  • effective hygiene promotion in a crisis context
  • the complexity of delivering safe water and sanitation in an emergency
  • the standard equipment used in the field for emergency WASH response
  • planning and coordinating WASH responses in emergencies

Course Outline

  • Public health risks in emergencies
  • Radio and GPS
  • Practical coordination of humanitarian response
  • WASH standards – Sphere
  • Water source identification
  • Site selection and planning
  • WASH needs assessment
  • Fieldwork: assessment and data collection
  • Case study – coordination, assessment and site planning
  • Water supply & distribution (incl ‘pipes and fittings’)
  • Water quality and treatment
  • Complete tank construction
  • Set up alum dosing
  • Water pumping and distribution
  • Planning and equipment selection
  • Excreta disposal and latrines
  • Hygiene promotion
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Environmental sanitation (solid waste management, site clean-up)
  • ADF role and capability in disaster response
  • Decommissioning and storage of equipment
  • Transition issues (from emergency to rehabilitation)
  • Water trucking operations
  • Coordination and Partnerships
  • Disease surveillance

Course Fees

Full Rate: $3,300 AUD Reduced Rate: $2,900 AUD

Inclusions: All food, accommodation and training materials. Travel not included.

You are eligible for the reduced rate if you are a member of our humanitarian roster (you must supply your membership number) or currently work for an NGO.

Unless otherwise stated, all courses are residential and course fees are inclusive of meals, accommodation, training and materials, but not transport to and from the venue. Course fees are in Australian dollars. A non-refundable deposit of $400 (AUD) is payable at the time of enrollment to secure your place on a course. This payment must be made via credit card through our secure payment facility.

Further instructions regarding course logistics will be provided upon payment of course fees.


Essential Course Information

Training Times

Registration takes place from 9:00am on the first day of all courses. To receive your course certificate you must complete the entire course.


Please arrange your own travel to and from our training venues. Travel insurance is recommended for all applicants and is mandatory for international participants.

Pre-course Learning

It is strongly recommended that all participants complete the prescribed reading before the commencement of the course. Pre-reading will be sent to registered participants approximately two weeks prior to the course.

Please refer to your course orientation guide, received upon enrolment, for more detailed essential course information


The Training Team

Our trainers have extensive experience in complex emergencies and natural disasters in Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and the Asia Pacific.