Fungom a Sub Division in Menchum Division is one of the most affected Sub Divisions in the North West Region due to the ongoing Anglophone Crisis. It has close to 14 IDP farm/bush settlements with about 5000 IDPs living in deplorable situations.
The deteriorating security situation has resulted to multiple population displacements across the NWSW with over 400,000 people forced to flee their homes to seek shelter in nearby bushes and village. The North-West Region alone has recorded over 10,200 displaced people (OCHA October 2020). 10 % of IDPs are living in remote areas, often in farm huts, bushes and the forests. (MSNA September 2019). This is the case in Menchum Division especially in lower Fungom communities where many have been displaced from their homes into the bushes and are living in hard and difficulty situations which have serious consequences on their livelihood and living conditions.
In shelter, due to continuing armed attacks and confrontations, people are forced to live their homes empty handed into the bushes. In the bush, they have nowhere to sleep and as a way to cope with the situation, they turn to prepare thatched houses which are not well secured. They also do not have toilets which leads to open defecation. A significant majority do not have beds or mattresses to sleep on and tend to sleep on bare ground, all this insecurity affects their livelihood.
As concerns WASH, most of these people do not have access to proper sanitation in the bushes. They do not have good drinking water sources and as well do not have proper water storage facilities. These inhabitants turn to share the same drinking water sources with animals in the area which leads to water related diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and malaria affecting especially the children. These water sources are also contaminated by open defecation from the populations.
In the domain of health, more than 40 percent of clinics and health centers no longer provide vaccinations, less than 15 percent of births are assisted by skilled attendants (OCHA 2019). This is the case in lower Fungom where over 70% of the health facilities are no longer functional as a result of the crisis and as such, the health situation of the people is threatened. The mortality rate especially that of infants is on an increase as a result of lack of health facilities to provide the basic health needs to the people.
As concerns food security, most of the people barely have enough to eat according to the recent United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA 2021). This is because of lack of farm inputs and farming tools. The IDP communities of lower Fungom are going through difficult situations as concerns food security as they have little to feed themselves due to this crisis.
Seeing the immense need of these underprivileged IDP populations, SHUMAS and partners Building Schools for Africa (BSFA-UK) focused on a multi-sectorial approach to address the needs of these IDPs in Lower Fungom (Health, WASH, Food security and Shelter). The main objective of the project was to improve on the living conditions of 506 IDP HHs living in 7 IDP settlements and hard to reach villages in Fungom by contributing towards their most critical needs through the provision of WASH, Health, Shelter and food security assistance. This was done through the following interventions;
For the health intervention, consultation and treatment of children under five for the 3 killer diseases (Malaria, Diarrhea and Pneumonia), provide pregnant women with Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria, delivery and new born kits. This was compounded by the training of Community Health Workers (CHWs) who followed up and administered these health interventions.
- A total of 1523 children were consulted, 961 treated in the 7 communities with 7 severe /complicated cases referred to Wum District Hospital. The most prevalent diseases among the children were malaria 45.56% (694), followed by acute respiratory infections 38.21 (582), Diarrhoea 24.42 (372) and skin infections 6.11% (93) as illustrated in the chart below.
- The production and distribution of reusable sanitary pads to young girls of reproductive age was also carried out. A total of 400 reusable sanitary pads were provided to 50 vulnerable girls with each receiving 4 in all the 7 communities. These girls were also trained on the production of these pads in order to ensure continuity and sustainability of the project in the communities.
- To boost the health and nutritional status of the children, vitamin A and Albendazole were provided to children and multivitamin to pregnant women. A total of 611 children 6-12 months received vitamin A 100,000IU and 1713 children 12-59 month received Vitamin A 200,000IU. 1713 children 12-59 months have were dewormed with Albendazole 40omg. 185 pregnant women were served with multivitamin and folic acid.
- A total of 35 delivery kits and 35 new born kits were distributed to vulnerable pregnant women and care givers with new born babies less than 2 months old.
- Focus group discussions, home visits and community sensitization was carried out in all the communities, message to promote social cohesion and peace building, essential family practices, hygiene and prevention of disease like cholera, COVID-19, malaria and water borne diseases were disseminated in the communities.
Under the WASH intervention, SHUMAS and partners provided the 506 Households with WASH kits made up of 1 jerry can, 1 bucket, 2 cups, 5 cubes of soap, aqua tabs and sensitization on water purification
In the area of Shelter, light shelter kits were distributed to the 506HH with all receiving 1 tarpaulin, 1 Mattress and 1 treated mosquito net
Under food security, it involved the provision of farm inputs to female headed HH in 7 IDP sites in Fungom subdivision (Fileeh, Abar, Munken Settlement, Misong, Kung, Lake Nyos Camp 1 and Molen). These HHs were provided seeds (groundnuts) and farm tools (cutlasses and hoes) to improve on their farm production for guaranteed food security in these communities