On 26th October, WaterWide team visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in New Kuchingoro, Abuja Nigeria, the camp accommodates over 2,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) including women and children under five. Majority of the IDPs in the camp are from the northeastern region (Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe and Nasarawa) of Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram insurgency and civil unrest in some states.
Prior to visit, we had a preliminary visit to the camp and did a needs assessment and our findings shows that;
- They lack proper hygiene orientation and facilities,
- They need medical sensitisation and check-up
- They have access to water but they need to be thought on how to keep their water station clean and proper storage mechanism,
We also spoke with the camp coordinator Mr Flemor Emmanuel, to get facts, figures, and the basic needs of people living in the camp, He pointed out that the people in the camp, especially women and children need all the help they can get ranging from sanitation, first aid medicines, household items, books and any other item that can improve health and wellbeing in the camp.
We partnered with Cater For the Needy Foundation, Pick That Trash, and DO to sensitise them on the effects of decent sanitation and clean toilets. Our planned sensitisation, sanitation and medical outreach for those in the IDP Camp was joined by the host community, During the session, the women showed keen interest and engaged in the discussion, A woman who identified herself as Mairo, said “We appreciate your visit and the great insight that you provided us, I want to point out one fact, our camp is filled with Men, women and children, but as you can see, the men are not here, they have less interest in helping out in the cleaning, and when we ask them not to litter the environment or defecate openly, they still go ahead and defecate in the open (‘she said pointing out to a wall), We know the effects of keeping our environment clean and open defecation, but we will be happy if our men listen and keep off this ill practice”.
A young lady Amina said that, “I had no idea that a dirty environment can affect our health directly, for me thought keeping my corner neat is enough, I now know that there should be a collective effort to clean as far as possible to ensure that we and our children fall ill less often, We will be glad if you can periodically check up on our progress so that we don’t forget these good practice you just enlightened us with.”
IDPs, Host Community members, WaterWide, Cater for the Needy Foundation, Pick That Trash and DO and a host of volunteers that showed interest joined the sanitation session of the camp and its surroundings for about one and a half hours, afterwards, household items, provisions, clothes, bags and books were given to them followed by the medical checkup and tests for IDPs and Host Community members.
To this effect we hope to replicate this outreach at other IDP camps in Nigeria, The well
being of people regardless of their condition and location is key for nation’s development.
We can do more!!!