Water and Hygiene Quality in the Borgop-Cameroon Refugee Camp and its Potential Adverse Impacts on Environment and Public Health

Author(s): Zakari Aretouyap, Essambeh Osang Liku, Lin Bernard Nka, Joel Enoka Bagnem, and Edgard Abesso Zambo

The world is currently experiencing one of the greatest refugee crises since the World War II. Africa is particularly concerned. The present investigation, conducted in summer 2016, aims at assessing the living conditions of refugees within the prisms of the water sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) standard in the Borgop-Cameroon refugees camp. For this, structured questionnaires are issued to 164 refugees and 6 United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) officials posted in the field. Both sets were complemented with key interviews, field observations and secondary data. It is found that some WASH standards such as the average amount of water needed per person, existence of protected water source, the proximity with water sources, the number of people per latrine, the distance between latrine and the closest water source and the existence of garbage pits round the camp are met conformingly to the sphere standards. However, there are many concerns regarding the queuing time at the tap, the presence of non-coverable water recipients, the non-accessibility of every household to a toilet, the presence of human feaces in the environment and the use of non-intimate or secure toilets. Such investigation can be very useful for the safety of millions of refugees in the world.

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