Clean water reduces mortality in Lake Chad region
In the Lake Chad region, 1 in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water. The crisis has caused a massive displacement, with 1.3 million uprooted children who face a complex humanitarian situation.
A UNICEF project sponsored by CERF has brought hope for some of the youth touched by violence while tackling protection and economic empowerment in an innovative way.
100 young people are now learning how to build bio-sand filters, fix water points, make soap and build latrines to improve sanitation in the Lake Chad region. The project aims to respond to the immediate needs of the population in terms of access to clean water and promotion of good hygiene practices. It also integrates protection through WASH activities by providing opportunities to youth abducted by Boko Haram with skills development to support them with income generation revenue activities.
Many of the trainees are youth who managed to escape from Boko Haram and are starting a new life, like 17 years old Amin, who was taken to a transition center before being reunited with his family.
“During my time at the transition center, I did a training in water pumps repair. When the water point in my village was broken, I helped the technician to fix it and made some money. Now I am learning how to make water filters and I am very proud to install these filters in the communities,” explains proudly Amin. “I have been sick because of dirty water so many times. If people drink clean water it will help a lot. I would like to work in the water sector, fixing water pumps, and build filters myself, even better ones,” he concludes smiling.
With the improvement of the security situation in some of the islands of the Lake Chad, displaced populations are starting to come back. However, the quality of the water remains very low and over 80% of the population practice open defecation. Water-borne diseases are widespread, putting these areas at high risk of cholera epidemics. Diarrhea is one of the leading cause of death among children.
While the training will help Amin and other trainees to hope for a brighter future, the bio-sand filters will also help cutting the number of diarrhea cases in half by eliminating 90% of the microbes. The project benefited as a part of the Lake Chad Basis crisis CERF allocations from 2014, 44.3M of which went to UNICEF.
Over 10 million people across the Lake Chad Basin are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Since 2014, CERF has provided nearly $156 million for life-saving humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict and deepening food crisis. With the support of CERF’s rapid response and underfunded emergency funds, humanitarian partners have been providing life-saving assistance and protection for the most vulnerable people – internally displaced, returnees, refugees and host population - affected by Boko Haram and military operations.