Vulnerable populations continue to face enormous needs for WASH services and WASH non-food items (NFIs). Lack of space has affected access to sanitation in some camps, with WASH agencies opting for manual dislodging of latrines to ensure access. In other scenarios, the last resort to build latrines outside the camp perimeter has affected access to dignified sanitation. Some of the sites have no possibility of expansion, however, and WASH agencies are looking at scaling up manual dislodging and rehabilitation of old latrines as a last resort.
Some areas experienced delays in distribution of NFIs due to inaccessibility. WASH partners have been challenged in some distribution locations by disruptions or looting of WASH NFIs. The sector has mapped three distributions. Most of the identified challenges include significant needs from vulnerable IDPs and host communities, which trigger desperate attempts to bypass the screening and registration processes to get access to NFIs.
Solid waste in MMC and other locations including hosted communities remains a critical gap, UNICEF and other agencies have initiated discussions with BOSEPA to find sustainable solutions for managing solid waste, which is a key environmental concern.
Access to water has greatly improved through scaling up motorization of water points, rehabilitating existing water stations and involving community members in managing their water sources.
In December 2020, WASH agencies provided clean water, access to dignified sanitation and essential WASH non-food items (NFIs) through the WASH sector common pipeline. Overall, operation and maintenance ensured continued access to 399K people. while 30 new and 234 rehabilitated handpumps and 54 new solar and motorized boreholes including 86 repairs on water systems benefitted 339k individuals. A total of 5,977 latrines were newly constructed and an additional 3,986 were rehabilitated. A total of 26K individuals were reached with these latrines, while 822 households benefited from household-level latrines. Emergency desludging reached a total of 71k individuals. Hygiene promotion targeting 499k individuals was conducted, out of this 140K were sensitized on COVID-19 prevention messaging.
Through the WASH sector core pipeline supported by UNICEF and IOM, a total of 147,000 individuals were reached with COVID-19 prevention kits and WASH NFIs. Similarly, 25,648 bars of soaps were released as part of the COVID-19 response.
The WASH sector has merged COVID-19 awareness campaigns with the regular hygiene promotion awareness messaging, with further discussions on how to ensure the involvement of water, sanitation and other committees to support awareness for children, women and men. Joint campaigns for hygiene promotion were held across various LGAs, emphasizing camp clean up and soap distribution. The WASH sector also celebrated World Toilet day under the theme ‘Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change’.
The WASH sector has embarked on the development of a three-year strategy which will provide guidance and direction in WASH programming, improve service delivery and response and include all the other roadmaps and legal frameworks to ensure the critical gaps are met through state and agency collaborations and the whole WASH sector at state and LGA levels.
The main challenges faced by WASH partners continue to be access, transportation and delivery of WASH NFIs on time. Sector partners have faced challenges where various distributions were disrupted by unknown persons armed with crude weapons, scaring agency staff and looting supplies.
In Pulka, the WASH sector approved the release of materials which had caused a long standoff with host communities, paving way for new supplies and replenishment of the core pipeline. Additional measures have been put in place including targeting vulnerable hosts, however, the need surpasses the capacity. More efforts are being put on screening, community feedback and accountability to affected people (AAP) to ensure that this does not continue in 2021.
More advocacy and support is required to support environmental sanitation. Camps in MMC face huge challenges in disposing of solid waste and large damp sites have since formed in most of the camps. The sector is looking at various options to resolve solid waste issues, however, it remains critically underfunded.