Vital support for displaced populations in Lake Chad

03 May 2023

The Lake Chad region in the west of the country is regularly shaken by waves of violence from armed groups operating in the border area with Niger and Nigeria, causing massive population movements. In November 2022, there were 381,289 displaced people in the region (UNHCR).

Since 2021, the Luxembourg Red Cross has been providing support to the displaced populations of this precarious region, thanks to the support of the European Union. Initially active on the sites of Djourou Kapi and N’Gouboua Koura, our teams have also provided support in humanitarian housing on the sites of Dabouarom North and Dabouarom South in order to cope with new arrivals.

Following consecutive waves of displacement and community tensions between host and displaced populations, the instability in the region is such that we have had to demonstrate a high degree of flexibility in our humanitarian response. Thanks to funding from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, in addition to support from the European Union, we have been able to extend our ongoing support to newly arrived populations.

To date, thanks to our intervention, nearly 20,000 people have benefited from access to safe and secure shelter and the reduction of health risks through the construction of water and sanitation facilities. Humanitarian shelter assistance has been provided through training in shelter assembly and emergency response, distribution of shelter kits and tools, and the installation of 2,000 improved stoves and hundreds of emergency latrines. Our empowerment approach, whereby beneficiaries receive the training and tools they need to take responsibility for building their own homes, ensures that support is sustainable. In addition, thousands of hygiene kits and household items have been distributed to displaced populations who have been sensitised to hygiene.

In 2023, we will continue to support thousands of recently displaced people in Kalgalawa and Acétchou. In addition to shelter construction and capacity building, this project will focus on exploring more sustainable solutions to enable the displaced population to settle in these sites in the medium to long term.

Mrs Yakoura Gombo, beneficiary of an emergency shelter in Dabouarom Sud, testifies

Yakoura Gombo, bénéficiaire d’un abri d’urgence à Dabouarom Sud

My name is Yakoura Gombo and I come from the village of Boulkaré (West of the Lake Chad region). Following attacks by armed groups, my children and I, along with other members of my community, moved to the Dabouarom Sud site. The first year, we were forced to sleep in makeshift shelters that we built from tree branches covered with used cloth. We were exposed to rain, dust and strong winds. My children often fell ill with malaria and colds. Since the arrival of the Red Cross in Dabouarom, my children and I have a safe and dignified shelter that is adapted to our ancestral cultures. We can finally sleep without fear.”