Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink

Extreme rain and flooding are bringing cholera and other deadly waterborne disease to communities in northeast Nigeria.

UNICEF Nigeria
Children-drinking-water
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

07 September 2017

It may be raining across northeast Nigeria but in camps for those displaced by the Boko Haram crisis, there is still a daily struggle to find enough clean water to drink. The rains bring deadly waterborne disease and an increased threat of malaria. A cholera outbreak has been confirmed in the Muna Garage camp in Maiduguri, the epicentre of the crisis, with concerns rising for suspected cases in other parts of the state.

Flooded-camp
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

Cholera is caused by consuming contaminated water and food, and often spreads as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene. The risks increase during the rainy season.

Children-walking-in-water
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

Despite the rain, access to clean water is very limited and especially for children living in the most cholera affected areas.

Children-in-flooded-road
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

“I shiver when it rains, my home gets wet, I get sick and just want to go home,” says 7-year old Hezbollah Lawan, standing in a big puddle inside Shuwari 8 camp, in Medinatu, Borno State. Hezbollah and many others in the camp have lived there for 8 months after fleeing the attacks of Boko Haram.

Child-crossing-flooded-road
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

This settlement is an informal camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

Woman-outside-makeshift-home-destroyed-by-floods
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

Most people live in makeshift shelters and when it rains, the camp is destroyed.

families-displaced-by-floods
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

Heavy rains and the lean season are also contributing to malnutrition rates across a region gripped by food insecurity.

Children-crossing-floodwater
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

Children continue to bear the brunt of the Boko Haram crisis. Now with the outbreak of cholera the majority of those infected are children.

cart-with-containers-of-water
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

UNICEF and partners have been working tirelessly since suspected cholera cases were first confirmed to identify the source, set up a cholera treatment centre and provide chlorinated water, as well as stepping up the clearing of latrines in effected areas.

Girl-filling-water-container-in-camp
UNICEF Nigeria/2017/Sokhin

Despite the current crisis, the water, hygiene and sanitation sector remains chronically and critically underfunded. To date, UNICEF has only secured 49% of funding need to provide 2 million of people with access to clean water.