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Emergency water trucking to drought-affected populations, particularly in the Horn of Africa, has become cyclical intervention as rainfall patterns in these areas has become increasingly unpredictable. In addition to being expensive and unsustainable, cyclical water trucking is coming under increased scrutiny as it increasingly appears to have negative impacts on pastoralist livelihoods, existing coping mechanisms in times of water scarcity, and inflation in the price of water.

This technical brief presents information on assessing the appropriateness of water trucking interventions, setup of emergency water trucking in drought, and alternatives to water trucking. It is intended to assist field staff and managers on the most appropriate option for emergency water provision in drought, and to give practical case studies demonstrating their setup and associated challenges. This guide is meant to be utilized in the initial stages of drought to select and appropriately implement (and responsibly exit from) the most suitable form of emergency water provision.

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