An Assessment of the Socio-Economic Challenges for the Provision Of WASH Services during Emergency Situations: A Case Study Of The Gado-Badzere Refugee Camp - East Cameroon
ASSOUAH, Chanel Lynne Essoubat
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Emergency situations can occur as a result of slow or rapid onsets. During such circumstances the affected populations become refugees or Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who often require fundamental and immediate needs such as water, food, sanitation which, when provided to them on time, can help break the cycle of disease transmission and improve their wellbeing. The present study conducted aims at assessing the socio-economic challenges for the provision of Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) standard in the Gado-Badzere Cameroon refugee camp. A total of two hundred and twelve (212) households were surveyed within the camp through a questionnaire. This was accompanied with key interviews, field observation and secondary data. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data and the findings were compared to international standards. The identified socio-economic hurdles for the provision of WASH services in the camp were Financial constraints, behaviour complexities and cultural factors, refugee’s dependence, and others such as geological factors etc. A total of 31 Boreholes, 12 standpipes unevenly distributed were found in the camp, the average volume of water available per person per day was 16 liters which was above that of 15 liters in emergency situations. Water points were located within the perimeters and the waiting time at the source was between 3-5minutes. The total number of used latrines was 817. The average number of persons per this facility was 31people, which is much higher than the standard suggested of 20 people per toilet facility. There were 300 garbage bins available in the camp and 15households per this facility. Faeces of children and menstrual hygiene of women are to an extent tackled. There are still many apprehensions regarding the number of persons per latrines and toilets, number of people per garbage can, access of WASH services to vulnerable groups, and challenges. This study can be very beneficial for the wellbeing of refugees in the world in general and particularly in Africa.