Source: | Mafany Tande Myles, Cameroon

If the Anglophone crisis does not take the lives of innocent youths, it is the Boko Haram insurgency in the 2 Northern Regions of Cameroon. What was least expected is that the lives of children could be lost due to water scarcity in the Far North Region of Cameroon.

It has been a sickening issue for several months now. There is no water in the Far North Region of Cameroon, notably in the Takamsa and Tokombere districts. Women have to walk at least 100 kilometres to get water. Worse case is the water isn’t pipe-borne — it is from a well. These wells are created by denizens digging the soil until they reach the water bed.

Women queuing for water: A daily scene in Worlode, Far North, Cameroon. Credits:

This type of water poses some problems to the communities concerned, especially children. There is the risk of water borne diseases, especially now during the rainy season. There is a high risk of contamination and most often, the denizens drink dirty water. There is no safe filtration system except sunlight. “During the rainy seasons, many of our children get sick from the dirty water we drink. Often they have a stomach ache,” said Maliki, a resident of Mokio, one of the districts lacking this amenity.

According to local sources, a man lost 2 of his children: “They had left to fetch water from the well”, the man said. “They had taken so long. Moments later, I was only called and told that my children had died. I was made aware that they had drowned in the well. I returned home with their bodies.”

The government of Cameroon has earmarked some XAF 3 to 4 billion for the construction and deployment of water pumps and water supplies across the region. The people are yet to see any projects beginning.

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