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Worst cholera outbreak in Nigeria for years hits families fleeing violence

Your prayers are needed as Tearfund’s local partners respond to the deadly outbreak that claimed hundreds of lives. 

Gideon Heugh | 13 Aug 2021

Fati sitting on the floor

Photo credit: Ruth Towell/Tearfund

Attacks by armed groups in northern Nigeria are causing entire communities to go on the run. With families forced to live in temporary camps in poor conditions, outbreaks of disease are common. In recent weeks, however, the worst outbreak for many years of cholera – a disease caused by dirty drinking water –  has killed hundreds of people. Many of the victims are children. For people like Fati, it’s yet another hardship to face.

Leaving life behind

Fati, a 25-year-old mother of three, had to leave her life behind when armed groups began to overrun nearby villages.

 After a long journey on foot with three small children, Fati had to find somewhere to live. With armed groups occupying so much land, other villages are having to host the thousands of people who have been displaced. Fati was able to rent a small home in one of these villages.

 Life is hard. ‘One of the major challenges we have was the fact that we don’t have a toilet,’ Fati tells us. ‘We have to go to our neighbour’s house... or go to the toilet in the open.’

A lifeline

Conditions like these make it easy for diseases like cholera to spread. But Tearfund’s local partner CRUDAN – who bring grassroots communities, including local churches, together to respond to humanitarian emergencies – have provided a lifeline to people like Fati. 

CRUDAN built a toilet for Fati’s family. They also received buckets for water collection and a hygiene pack including essentials such as sanitary products and soap. In addition, CRUDAN staff regularly share messages on good hygiene practice. 

These steps will go a long way in keeping people safe from cholera. ‘I would like to say a big thank you,’ says Fati. ‘My prayer is that God will help us that one day we will have peace in our community and get back to our village.’

Please join us in praying for people like Fati, and for Nigeria as it struggles with violence and the outbreak of disease.

Pray with us

Loving God,
We lift up the nation of Nigeria to you, and pray for your hand of protection and peace to rest upon it. We pray for an end to both the violence and the outbreak of diseases like cholera. Bring families like Fati’s the peace that they so urgently need.
In Jesus' name, amen.

Gideon Heugh


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