When the borehole broke down, there was no peace: ensuring safe access to water

Nigeria | 2021 | CBPF

Nigeria, Yobe state.  The only working borehole broke down two years ago. This meant people had to walk more than half an hour each time they needed to collect water. The water supply infrastructure was damaged a few years earlier by non-state armed group attacks.

When the people in Bulama Jafaru arrived at the only working water source miles outside of their town, they had to wait in long queues in the heat, as they were not the only people seeking water there. With frustrations running high, disputes quickly erupted at the congested water point.

Jafaru Ibrahim, a leader in the community, remembers: “After the borehole broke down, there was no peace among the people. They would constantly get into a quarrel at the water point.” The overcrowded site increased the risk of contracting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.

To support the people of Buluma Jafaru and surrounding communities, Taimako Community Development Initiative (TCDI) ran a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project in Gujba and Yunusari with funding from the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund.

The project increased access to safe drinking water and promoted safer hygiene practices among communities most affected by the conflict.

In Bulama Jafaru, the project rehabilitated the existing borehole and established a WASH committee of five men and five women who received training on borehole maintenance, crowd coordination at the water point and how to promote hygiene practices in the community.

Having water that is safe and easy to access helps. With the borehole in the center of the community, women no longer have to walk long distances at all hours of the day. Also, children are not late to school because of having to stand in line at the water point.

More information on the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund:
OCHA – POOLED FUNDS DATA HUB – By Country (unocha.org)