Since April 2019, residents of Dan Kudan village in Nigeria have been fleeing to Maradi in Niger. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Maradi region received 23,000 refugees from Nigeria just last month. The number of people leaving Nigeria continues to grow. Forty-year-old Amina and her family are among them.
"One year and six months ago, I was forced to leave my village around 2:00pm because of thieves,” says Amina. “They attacked our village and took all our animals, but I managed to escape with my children to Niger. "
Amina and her family finally arrived in the Dan Dadjin Makaou refugee camp in Niger where she has been living safely with her nine children since April 2019.
"When I was in my village, I used to sell goats to support my children, but the armed bandits took everything from me and we will probably never return to this village," Amina says sadly.
“When we arrived in the refugee camp, we had difficulty getting drinking water,” she says. “We had to go to the neighbouring village with 25 litre cans and buckets to fetch water. At the beginning, it was not easy. I had pains everywhere because the cans were heavy, but with time we started to get used to this chore.”
Staying clean was impossible.
“On top of that,” she says, “my children were dirty. “They didn't often wash because of the lack of water. We also did not have latrines. We did our needs in the bush, but we were afraid of being raped by the bandits of the village.”
Through World Vision's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, a mini water supply and latrines were built on the site. In addition, hygiene kits were distributed to the refugees.
With the support of UNHCR, through an emergency response for Nigerian refugees in Maradi, World Vision has provided access to safe water to over 3,500 people such as Amina living in Dan Dadjin Makaou refugee camp. It also gave them access to hygiene and sanitation.
"World Vision came to help us by building a mini water supply system with six fountains, 52 latrines and 32 showers,” she says. “They also distributed soaps, detergents, plastic buckets, broom kits, cups, brushes, gloves, buckets, shovels, clothes and bibs. World Vision also educates us on how to protect ourselves from COVID-19. It is great because this support has changed my life and the lives of everyone at this site. Now that we have water nearby, my children are clean because they wash themselves very regularly. Now we can also go to the latrine without fear,” says Amina with a smile.
"I will be forever grateful to World Vision because it has brought us relief. Thanks to them, my life and that of the members of the site have improved. May God bless them.”
The right of individuals to drinking water and sanitation is recognised internationally as a fundamental human right. That is why World Vision is active to improve the living conditions of communities in its areas of operation; especially the most vulnerable members like Amina who lost everything.