Lake Chad Basin: Crisis Update No. 26 (November - December 2018)
▪ Armed attacks escalate in Nigeria’s north-east
▪ Cholera outbreak on the decline
▪ Nigeria private sector joins humanitarian fund
▪ Niger domesticates the Kampala Convention, Africa’s first
▪ Good rains, sustained aid ease hunger
VIOLENCE ESCALATES IN NORTH-EAST NIGERIA
Armed groups have stepped up raids in recent months across Nigeria’s north-east, targeting military bases, towns and displacement sites. The violence has disrupted aid operations in some locations and thousands more people have been displaced. An unknown number of displaced people were killed in an attack on 6 December in Rann, a remote town in the north-eastern Borno state. A few days earlier, gunmen raided an IDP camp in Yola town, opened fire and stole valuables as the displaced scampered for safety. On 31 October, armed men attacked an IDP camp and villages outside Borno capital Maiduguri, killing at least eight displaced people, injuring dozens, kidnapping women, burning and looting homes, shelters and food.
The attacks force the already displaced to flee again for safety elsewhere. Since October 2017, over 183,000 more people have been internally displaced, with almost daily influx to camps and host communities where resources are already overstretched. The majority have been forced to flee due to armed attacks. Poor living conditions, lack of access to humanitarian assistance, military operations and fear of attacks have also uprooted tens of thousands of people.
In Chad’s western Lac region, a series of raids in late September forced six aid organizations to suspend work in some Lake Chad islands. Humanitarian operations have since resumed and the authorities are reinforcing security. Attacks, however, continue to occur in localities near the border with Nigeria, limiting humanitarian access.
IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY
Good rains in the 2018 June – September rainy season improved food security in the Lake Chad region, boosting relief efforts to ease hunger and other humanitarian needs. Between October and December 2018, around 3.3 million people were food insecure1 at “crisis” and “emergency” levels in the conflict-hit areas of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. In the same period in 2017, some 4.1 million people were food insecure. Despite the improvement, conflict persists and continues to displace families, restrict movement and disrupt agriculture, trade and other life-sustaining activities. Around 2.2 million people remain internally displaced in the region due to the conflict.
TACKLING CHOLERA OUTBREAK
Around 11,000 suspected cholera cases were reported by 2 December in Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Authorities in Borno and Yobe declared an outbreak in September as cases mounted. The Government and aid organizations are working to contain the epidemic. On 3 December, Borno state health authorities, UNICEF and MSF launched a five-day cholera vaccination campaign targeting around 463,000 people in four localities. Across the border in Niger, the authorities and WHO also launched a cholera vaccination drive targeting more than 152,000 people. Since July, cholera has infected 3,824 people and killed 78. The outbreak has affected four regions in Niger’s south.
This year’s cholera outbreak in Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria is the worst the Lake Chad Basin region has witnessed since 2010. Infections are now on the decline in the three countries due to efforts by the authorities and aid groups. While Chad was not affected in 2018, reinforced monitoring mechanism has been put in place in border areas to better prepare for quick response in case of an outbreak.