Northwest Region Faces Alarming Water Crisis as Survey Exposes Severe Gaps in Public Water Management

Session to present the results of the survey 

A recent in-depth investigation carried out by the Dynamique Citoyenne (DC) has shed a glaring light on the shockingly dire state of the public water system in the Northwest region. The comprehensive survey, conducted from June 13-22, 2024, covered 10 municipalities across four selected divisions (Menchum, Momo, Mezam, and Ngoh-ketunjia) out of the seven divisions that make up the Northwest region, and the findings are nothing short of alarming.

The survey revealed a deeply concerning picture of the water crisis plaguing the region, with a mere 10% of the water sources managed by public authorities, and an overwhelming 90% relying on private initiatives. Even more alarmingly, within that 10% under public management, over 40% were found to be non-functional. The quality of water from the few functional public sources was also reported to be of very poor quality, rendering it unsuitable for consumption.

Gaby Ambo, Focal point for Dynamique Citoyenne emphasizing importance of water in sustainable development 

Gaby Ambo, the focal point for the Dynamique Citoyenne (DC) in the Northwest Region, emphasized the critical importance of water and energy as part of the sustainable development projects included in the public investment budget allocated for the Northwest region. He stressed the urgent need for the fair and equitable utilization and distribution of these vital resources to the appropriate quotas in their correct proportion.

Cross section of participants 

The water cafe discussion, organized by the DC, provided a platform Mbafor Christopher, a member of  DC Northwest Directory incharged of Advocacy  to present a detailed diagnosis of the problems with public water sources in the 10 selected council areas. The findings were nothing short of alarming, exposing the dire state of the region's water crisis.

Christopher Mbafor member of DC NW Directory incharged of Advocacy 

Interestingly, the DC also placed a focus on the boreholes that were being allocated to these communities, only to discover that some were non-existent, some not working, and the few that were working did not meet the standards of potable water suitable for consumption. The commission also realized that local communities had different water sources, such as wells and streams, which equally needed proper treatment, but many were unaware of the need for water treatment.

The advocacy office believes that the responsibility now falls on all stakeholders to continue raising their voices and push for local solutions, rather than relying solely on the government. They feel that the government often cites the crisis as an excuse for not being able to address the problems, when local solutions are needed precisely because of the crisis.

The water crisis has far-reaching implications, as even public social institutions like schools face severe water shortages, hampering basic hygiene practices. The water cafe discussion has highlighted the urgent need for concerted efforts to address this pressing issue and the importance of collaborative action involving the government, civil society, and local communities to find sustainable solutions that cater to the unique needs and realities of the region.

In the face of this alarming water crisis, the Dynamique Citoyenne (DC) has called for immediate action from all relevant stakeholders. The survey findings underscore the dire need for a comprehensive and coordinated response to address the severe gaps in public water management and ensure equitable access to clean, safe water for all residents of the Northwest region. The future of the region's development and well-being rests heavily on the successful resolution of this pressing crisis


Munya Charles Babila 

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