Focus on the Far North

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Improving Lives News

The Far North region is the second most populated region of Cameroon and one of the poorest. The region currently faces immense challenges including weak public services and chronic insecurity caused by armed conflicts by the Boko Haram. The impacts of climate change leading to environmental degradation is exacerbating the tensions with diminishing water resources further fuelling food insecurity and competition over scarce supplies.

As a result of the violence, villages have been burned, communities scattered, with flash floods sweeping through communities destroying livelihoods and increasing population movement. In 2023 the UN estimated that there were 427,833 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the Far North region alone, many of whom fled for safety to Diamare Division on the outskirts of Maroua, the regional capital.

Building Schools for Africa is responding to this humanitarian crisis with a cluster of projects that aim to facilitate IDP and refugee children back into education, whilst also addressing their immediate humanitarian needs.

The total project comprises:

Building classrooms
Construction of three fully furnished classrooms and a new toilet at CETIC Kongola.

CETIC Kongola is the only technical college in Kongola-Djiddeo sub-division of Diamare with an estimated population in excess of 10,000. The college currently has an enrolment of 592 students. The current facilities are inadequate and the makeshift nature of the existing infrastructure make it unusable with the seasonal heavy rains.

Building access to water
The drilling of a borehole and the installation of a hand-pump for the communities serving the primary school EP Kodek.

EP de Kodek was created in 1963 and is located in Diarmare sub-division, 7 miles from the centre of Maroua. It has an enrolment of over 800 children but it does not have potable water. Although there is a well maintained toilet at the school, there are no hand-washing facilities. Children and staff are often absent from school because of ill-health related to waterborne diseases.

Building access to education
Livelihood and psychosocial support for 100 IDP female household heads.

This represents one fifth of a larger, country-wide, project which plans to enable 500 vulnerable IDP women household heads in 5 cities across Cameroon, to engage in small profitable businesses that will enable them to generate income and send their children to school, while meeting other basic needs. This follows a very successful pilot project (funded by BSFA) involving 300 IDP women in 4 different cities in 2022.