Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Everyone has the right to Water, sanitation, and hygiene thus, WASH plays a critical role before, during, and after emergencies with a goal to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity. Water, sanitation, and hygiene are so interdependent that without proper sanitation, water sources are at risk of contamination, and without water of sufficient quantity and quality, good hygiene practices are nearly impossible.

Poor hygiene, open defecation, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation systems are leading causes of personal and public health risks concerns such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, child mortality they also contribute to undernutrition and stunting, promotes acts of gender-based violence and act as barriers to economic opportunities.

Sustainable access to improved water and sanitation services and the correct and consistent practice of hygienic behaviors, use of basic sanitation, and handwashing with water and soap at critical times are key barriers along the faecal oral disease transmission route aimed at improving personal and public health.


Affected people have safe and equitable access to a sufficient quantity of water for domestic needs

Affected people have safe and dignified access to improved sanitation facilities.

Affected people benefit from community tailored gender- and age-sensitive hygiene messages aiming at hygienic behavior and practices.

Affected people benefit from basic gender- and age-sensitive hygiene items.

These objectives align with the Nigerian WASH sector’s strategic objective s and Sustainable Development Goal (6) which envisions universal sustainable and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene as well as the elimination of open defecation by 2030.

What was the issue or challenge?

The ongoing conflict between non-state armed groups and government forces which began in 2009 has created and continue to create high-level humanitarian needs such as displacements, food insecurity, widespread violence against women and girls, loss of livelihood opportunities, and disease outbreaks as a result of poor water, sanitation infrastructures and lack of hygiene services.

According to OCHA, more than 36,000 people have been killed in the BAY states – almost half of them civilians and thousands of women and girls abducted.

The number of people in need of urgent assistance in north-east Nigeria rose from 7.9 million at the beginning of 2020 to 10.6 million since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, 1.9 million people are still internally displaced, some living in dire conditions. Over 80 percent of them are in Borno State – the epicenter of the crisis. Four out of five internally displaced people are women and children, and one in four are under the age of five.

In emergencies, Lack of access to improved water, safe and hygienic sanitation facilities, and hygiene items including gender-sensitive items which are usually fragile or non-existent are further stretched due to the influx of displaced populations in host communities and internally displaced camps and camp like settings where they reside in search of security. Living conditions are exacerbated making affected populations more vulnerable to personal and public health risks.

Why is JDF collaborating with partners and donors to providing solutions to these issues?

The right to water, sanitation and hygiene is part of the universal rights essential for human survival and dignity, and state and non-state actors have responsibilities to fulfill the right.

JDF is committed to improving the lives of underprivileged people including people affected by crisis thus, recognizing the numerous challenges faced by affected populations in Nigeria’s North East, JDF entered into strategic partnerships with international and local Non-Governmental Organizations and Donors who have been working in support of the Government of Nigeria to provide lifesaving responses, rebuild resilience and restore dignity.

Brief summary of work done so far

JDF humanitarian WASH response dates back to 2017 and spans across five (5) local governments of Balanga in Gombe state and Konduga, Askira/Uba, Mafa, and Dikwa in Borno state. JDF in partnership with CAID /ICCO on the Nigerian joint response -NJR and NCA on the NMFA funded projects have through the construction and rehabilitation of water facilities, sanitation facilities (latrines and showers), provision of solid waste items, Provision of hygiene items including gender-sensitive items, hygiene promotion awareness and training on operation and maintenance of WASH infrastructure to ensure sustainability.

Within this period JDF has been able to reach 119 452 men, women, girls, and boys affected by the protracted crisis in Nigeria’s North East.

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