Video: IDPs in Nigeria face dire water, sanitation, hygiene situation amid COVID-19
........Over 3,000 inhabitants without functional toilet facilities
August 5, 2020 - Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Durumi Camp in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja are facing dire Water Sanitation and Hygiene Challenges, as they seek interventions for better living conditions.
The camp currently hosts 3,015 persons, made up of 27 households - all forced to flee their homes as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging Northeast Nigeria.
Coping with limited access to clean water and poor sanitation in the Camp amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are grave concerns as to their safety in view of the importance of personal hygiene to limiting the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mrs Layatu Ayuba, Women Leader of the Camp said they are faced with dire Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) as the four toilets and water facility are already overstretched.
“We are faced with so many challenges in this camp, we have been here for over six years, I have been here for up to eight years.
“This place does not belong to the government, it is for the Gwari people and they refused to allow us to build toilets, it is only this part of the camp that has toilets.
“We have shared ourselves into 11 groups in this camp because of our population, we are 3,050 people grouped as elders, children and teenagers, and we have shared ourselves into eleven groups.
According to her, "a non government organization built the toilets but we have not started using them, we still defecate in the bushes”.
Ayuba added that women and children remain the most vulnerable in the situation as they continuously suffer from WASH related sicknesses like vomiting, diarrhea, typhoid, malaria, skin infections and toilet diseases.
“All the women are suffering from toilet infections, our children are suffering from toilet infection.
"You can see our children, they keep suffering from fever, diarrhea and vomiting because of the environment: we do not have good environment.
“No matter how we try to clean, it never gets clean enough. Our children are dying, vomiting and with fever every month.
“At this time, when you enter the tents, no matter how you clean, the rain keeps dropping inside. We are having all sort of skin infections.
With constructed make shift tents amidst heaps of refuse, they have also constantly suffered from environmental hazards, flooding and respiratory infections from poor ventilation.
Fadimotu Umaru displaced from Gwoza also lives in this make shift tent with her nine children and husband, they manage to fit into this tent .
She also lamented the poor hygienic condition of the environment, which according to her has been the reason for the countless infections her children suffer at regular interval.
Like other displaced persons in this camp and other parts of the country, Laraba and other Durumi IDPs are appealing for more decent environment where they can live a normal life like every other Nigerian.
Access to portable water, decent environment and sanitation is one of the many challenges facing IDPs living in camps and host communities.
Although no reported outbreak of COVID-19 in this camp, adequate sensitization on proper hygiene, and interventions with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) would help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in this camp.