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Cameroon : WASH Rapid assessment in Mayo-Tsanaga division (Far North Region), Feb. 2017


This WASH rapid assessment took part within a larger NCA field visit to LWF Cameroon and other ACT Alliance member’s projects and offices. This field trip’s objective at large was to assess, not only the needs of the population, but also the capacities of the present partners. Three staff members of NCA HQ (Head Quarters) were mobilized in February 2017 – the Head of Humanitarian Division; an Emergency WASH Advisor; and a Security Advisor. Within the scope of this larger mission, this assessment focused on the following results.
General Objective
- Enumerate and quantify the WASH needs of the assessed populations (IDP’S, Refugees and Host communities), and identify opportunities for further interventions in the area by the NCA-LWF consortium.
Specific objectives
- Evaluate status of the WASH services and the needs in the area.
- Identify gaps in the emergency WASH response provided to affected populations.
- Through an evidence-based approach, improve any further project proposals developed by the NCA- LWF or other ACT Alliance member’s consortia.


Data collection
The field team collected data via MDC (Mobile Data Collection) using tablets and electronic formularies created 4 with Kobocollect.
Two forms were created for the assessment:
- Forms for collecting data at the HH level: Mainly closed questions responded directly by the HH head.
- Forms for each visited village: Open and closed questions derived from discussions with relevant informants.
The rationale using 2 different types of sources (forms) data is that in the analysis one can be cross-checked for different parameters (Ex; type of latrines, access to water points, etc). Also, different responses are given for example by water authorities than users for some questions (Ej: Operation of water committees in the village)
Questions were enunciated in in a way that don’t lead to the respondent to say a particular answers and enumerators were trained to listen to respondent instead of listing possible choices. Where closed questions were given, respondents could always list different answers.
After having some context from village authorities on composition of the village, type of families, presence of IDP’s, the team leader distributed the enumerators by neighbours. They covered the areas given, randomly choosing HH until time was ended in the day. No precise data of population exists for each of the visited areas so no percentages of sampling can be determined.
Assessment team
The team was composed of:
- 1 team supervisor, LWF permanent staff, who directed and oriented daily field work. This person was also in charge of the security of the whole team.
- 1 WASH interviewer, LWF permanent staff, who administered the village WASH survey.
- 5 enumerators, with experience in data collection and previously trained in MDC were chosen to administer the HH survey. The ratio was 3 females to 2 males to improve chances of collecting quality data from the female population.
- 1 driver with knowledge of the area. The team depart daily in the morning to one or two locations to carry out the work. Security protocols required the team to be back in Maroua at 17h. Sleeping overnight was considered an unnecessary security risk for the team.

Key findings: 

This rapid WASH assessment was carried out via 329 surveys in seven villages. Data shows that most of the HH goes regularly to the usually well furnished, although limited in quantity, local markets, but prices seem to oscillate for the most important food items.
The water supply in all visited villages and sites is very precarious, with about 31 water points that could be improved for the affected population as a lot of the do not consume water from a protected water source or have to walking the 500 m to collect water. Most of host population thinks that the arrival of IDP’s has affected their water supply, in quality, quantity and conflicts around water collection points Water Committees are for most of the village as not very active, there is a chronic lack of fees collection that leads to recurrent failures in water points.
Latrines are scarce and of bad quality, only 1/3 of HH declare to use one, the defecation in holes is the more common practice and direct OFD (Open Field Defecation) is also wide spread. Sanitation of the environment is also not good in most of the HH visited. Latrines coverages is even lower for IDP’s and refugees.
Handwashing after/before eating is a well-established practice but not after defecation. Refugees in shows slightly better habits in hand washing after defecation, although the use of soap when washing hands is not very spread in any sample population.
Solid waste management is done mainly by dumping the waste straight into the nature; only small fractions of people burn their waste.
A holistic approach of integrated activities; heavily focus in the water supply, as the primary concern, but with emphasis in family latrine construction and hygiene promotion is recommended. WASH projects could pilot small CBP for hygiene items, with a heavy follow up.
Activities included are; rehabilitation and construction of new boreholes/ wells, training and strengthening of water committees and training of maintenance technicians, among others.
Regarding sanitation, the construction of family latrines is the highest priority, as it is also the need of latrines in public centres. Finally, the trainings of masons in good construction techniques/designs should be made to improve quality of the facilities, currently very poor.
Hygiene promotion should be reinforced by addressing the unawareness of the target population regarding key messages and its lack of means to enable good practices. Thus, it is recommended to carry out campaigns (door-by-door, mass, media, schools) and the distribution of kits (soap, bleach and hygienic towels for women).

Sample size: 
Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Not Available
Assessment Data: 
Not Available
Assessment Date(s): 
с 14 Фев 2017 по 22 Фев 2017
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Key Informant Interview
Focus group discussion
Baseline data analysis
Field Interview
Population Type(s): 
Host communities
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
ACT Alliance
Lutheran World Federation
Other location: 
Mayo Tsanaga
Needs Assessment