If water sources are contaminated it can quickly turn into a medical crisis. Water and sanitation specialists are responsible for the design and management of water and sanitation or construction projects. Water projects can range from drilling bore-wells in remote areas to setting up clean water sources in a camp for displaced people or managing the emergency provision of drinking water after a natural disaster. Sanitation work could involve appropriately siting and building latrines or taking care of waste management in a hospital.
"A cholera epidemic has been sweeping parts of the country since last year with more than 500,000 people affected by the disease. As a water and sanitation specialist (watsan), my main role is to help people get safe water and proper sanitation facilities to prevent cholera, along with other water-borne diseases like typhoid, diarrhoea, and some types of hepatitis. I’m involved in stopping the problem at its source." Read Oliver McGrath's article about his work as an MSF Water and Sanitation Specialist in Democratic Republic of Congo