23.1 C

Northeast is steering towards another deadly cholera, humanitarian body warns




THE Norwegian Refugee Council has raised a warning on an imminent deadly cholera outbreak to occur in the northeastern states of Nigeria due to lack of sanitation in the displacement sites and camps.

The humanitarian body gave this alert on Monday in a press release published on its website and also forwarded to the ICIR.

NRC noted that the displacement camps which are now overcrowded and lack basic sanitation facilities and hygiene would cause another cholera outbreak in states including Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe if urgent actions were not taken for its prevention.

“If the camps are not decongested and sanitation facilities improved, cholera will inevitably return, and vulnerable displaced people will bear the brunt of the epidemic again,” warned Eric Batonon, NRC’s Country Director for Nigeria.

For instance, he said 466  people are sharing one latrine at one of the displacement camps in Borno state. But according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarians affairs (OCHA), a latrine should be used by not more than 50 people in emergency situations. Hence, the sharing of latrine in Nigerian displacement camps is nine times higher than the agreed humanitarian standards.

The NRC said as a result of lack of latrines, a lot of people choose to defecate in the open, thus exacerbating an already vulnerable situation and increasing the likelihood of the spread of disease.

It added that the living conditions had deteriorated in the refugee sites in 2019 as over 100,000 people joined in late 2018. The humanitarian group said over 10,000 cases of cholera were recorded in the six northeastern states in 2018 with more than 175 registered deaths.

- Advertisement -

“The conflict in northeast Nigeria has now lasted for about ten years, and we should have learned the lessons of past cholera outbreaks and be able to prepare adequately to limit the impact,” said Batonon.

To prevent an outbreak in 2019, the humanitarian body called on the Nigerian authorities to provide additional land to develop new facilities.

“We are calling for Nigerian authorities to provide additional land to develop decongestion plans and to enable the construction of new water and sanitation facilities,” part of the release stated.

“At the same time, the international community should provide the necessary funding to respond quickly and efficiently so we can end the cycle of yearly cholera outbreaks in the region.”

Cholera is a waterborne bacterial disease that is caused by ingesting contaminated water or food. It causes diarrhoea and dehydration, which may be deadly if not treated immediately.

Safe and protected water sources and proper sanitation facilities are critical to prevent it from spreading, according to NRC.

The NRC said Safe water has only been made accessible to 24 per cent of the total number of people in need. While there are 400,000 people needing emergency shelter in northeast Nigeria in 2019, over 2,288 people have been reached.

- Advertisement -

It also estimated that 7.1 million people in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.


If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.



Train attack: How FG met terrorists’ demands for release of abducted passengers

SENIOR Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu has said...

NNPCLtd. signs contract extension with oil majors, targets $500bn investments

THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd) has signed a contract extension with five...

Bandits kill two vigilantes in Abuja

TWO vigilante members have been reported dead following an encounter with bandits at Gasakpa...

Wike to Atiku: People around you may cost you 2023 presidential election

RIVERS State governor Nyesom Wike has advised candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)...

Aero Contractors eyes return to commercial operations

Aero Contractors is eyeing a return to commercial operations after the temporary suspension of...

Most Read


Subscribe to our newsletter