News Alert: Rural Communities in Northeast Nigeria are Out of Water and Health Workers, New Assessment Finds
Project HOPE recently conducted a rapid needs assessment in Adamawa State, Nigeria – a rural region plagued by a recent cholera outbreak, conflict, and devastating flooding. The assessment found that the humanitarian needs in Adamawa State are challenging, and communities do not have safe and consistent access to toilets, water, and bathing facilities; do not have sufficient water for short-term or long-term needs; and lack alternative sources of water supply nearby.
Dr. Michael Dibor, country representative for Nigeria at Project HOPE said,
“The findings of this assessment were deeply troubling. Most people from communities in the 5 LGAs assessed in Adamawa State are getting their water from water puddles and small streams, a breeding ground for cholera, diarrhea and typhoid. The communities we surveyed overwhelmingly said they do not have access to safe water and there were no designated waste disposal sites in the communities we visited. In many areas, livestock dung is scattered all over and there is open defecation. The lack of access to clean water coupled with lingering feces paint a dangerous reality for children and pregnant women who are especially susceptible to water-borne illnesses.
“We found many health clinics in disarray, often damaged, unsafe for use and lacking trained medical professionals. Health clinics have an inadequate number of staff and resources to meet the growing needs of the communities they serve. We are calling on government agencies and donors to scale up funding in Adamawa State, especially in the hinterlands and hard-to-reach areas, to engage additional health workers and implement clean, safe water access points to avert a pending health catastrophe.”
The rapid needs assessment was conducted between January 16 and January 24, 2023. Project HOPE spoke with 250 families, community leaders and stakeholders across Demsa, Guyuk, Lamurde, Numan and Shelleng in Adamawa state. In Lamurde, Numan and Shelleng, 100% of all respondents said there was not safe and consistent access to latrines, water and bathing facilities.
Project HOPE has worked in Nigeria for 12 years and is currently working to strengthen health systems across the country.