Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Enabling activities - Health care facilities
Managing hospital, clinic, laboratory, and temporary /field facilities
Access and delivery of fuel, heating, cooling, electricity, insulation, and water

Access and delivery of fuel, heating, cooling, electricity, insulation, and water


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

The local climate, water resources, other natural resources, and infrastructure affect the quantity and type of fuel, heating, cooling, insulation, water, and energy demands for hospital, clinic, and laboratory facilities.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Ensure equal participation, supply, distribution, and monitoring of environmentally appropriate fuel and household energy supplies across all gender, ages, and disabilities.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Climate Change
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural resource depletion

Summary of Impacts
Potential environmental impacts
  •  Greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels for energy
  •  Deforestation and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems from cutting and burning wood for cooking
  •  Water resource depletion
  •  Soil and water pollution
  •  Water eutrophication
Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Type and provision of fuel, heating, cooling, electricity, insulation, and water all have environmental impacts, particularly in the amount of energy used, which creates greenhouse gas emissions when sourced from fossil fuels. Excessive water use depletes natural resources and effluent can pollute local soil and watercourses.


Summary of environmental activities
  •  Efficient building design
  • Maximise natural heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and insulation
  •  Use renewable energy
  •  Avoid the use of wood for cooking
  •  Avoid energy generation from coal, diesel, oil, or gas.
Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Buildings can be designed efficiently to reduce the use of fuel/energy for cooking, heating, cooling, including natural ventilation, lighting, and insulation. Switch to renewable energy wherever possible. Health facilities are often big enough to warrant investment in on-site renewable energy generation that pay for themselves in a short time period. Avoid dependence on cutting wood for cooking. Avoid heating and cooling from coal or oil sources, and minimise or eliminate dependency on other fossil fuels such as diesel generators or gas.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

There are many traditional methods of reducing energy use for heating, cooling and ventilation, including window size and location, insulation, wall thicknesses, use of water, and creating natural wind vents.

Humanitarian Response Plan Ukraine – January-December 2019:

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

The number of health facilities where a facilities plan has been developed that directly assesses and addresses environmental impacts of all building facilities/services.

Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time, resources, and budget to assess fuel, heating, cooling, electricity, insulation and water requirements, environmental impacts, and determine the least harmful / most beneficial.

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