In response to the latest figures shared by OCHA on Burkina Faso Humanitarian situation, Oxfam warns of the alarming deterioration of the humanitarian crisis and calls on the international community to immediately mobilize funding to meet the urgently needed humanitarian support. More than 1.9 million people in Burkina Faso are in desperate need of water, sanitation and hygiene support.
“The situation is extremely critical. In 2019, the number of internally displaced people in Burkina Faso has increased tenfold, reaching more than half a million by the end of the year. Hundred of thousands of families who have lost everything are in desperate need of food, shelter, and healthcare, but most urgently they need water,” says papa Sosthène Konate, Interim Country Director of Oxfam in Burkina Faso.
Women and girls have to queue for hours to collect a tiny amount of water. Fatoumata Sawadogo, one of the displaced person Oxfam is supporting in Pissila recounts: “If I go out to fetch water at 7 am, I have to queue in the sun until at least midday and the small amount of water I collect isn’t enough to meet my family's needs for the day. I have to go through that every day.”
Oxfam is working closely with partners to provide water and hygiene services. Huguette Yago, water, sanitation and hygiene engineer working with Oxfam’s local partner AGED at the Pissila displacement site, at the northern central region, said: “Without water, there's no hygiene; without water, we can’t do anything”.
Currently, more than 3,500 displaced persons are living with no access to water. In this context, the risk of epidemics is high and any outbreak would have disastrous consequences as these areas host thousands of fleeing people living in crowded conditions, where health services are already overstretched and often too expensive. A marked rise in diarrhoeal diseases has already been seen.
For the hosting communities, access to water has also become a daily challenge as they have welcomed 94% of the displaced persons. “Water has become a point of tension for everyone. There are too many of us; it's very difficult”, explains Ousmane Bandé who is hosting more than 30 displaced people in his home. In some towns, like Barsalogho, the rate of access to safe drinking water has fallen by 40%* due to mass arrivals of displaced persons. This has led to the overuse and deterioration of the already limited water resources.
If I go out to fetch water at 7 am, I have to queue in the sun until at least midday and the small amount of water I collect isn’t enough to meet my family's needs for the day. I have to go through that every day.”
Oxfam has set up three independent water supply points, rehabilitated 29 hand pumps and installed two flexible water storage tanks, helping approximately 21,800 people a day reach water. But this is still insufficient to meet the water needs of all the displaced people and host communities.
“In 2020, Oxfam aims to develop its work to prevent diseases linked to the lack of hygiene for 287,000 people and build or rehabilitate 107 water points” explains Gustave Yamossou, Emergency Manager at Oxfam. To continue responding to the dire humanitairan situation, urgent aid is needed. The situation is quickly deteriorating and 2 million Burkinabés urgently need humanitarian aid in 2020.
Notes to editors
*Source: HNO 2020
*Source: HNO 2020