MAIDUGURI: Sanitation Status

Sanitation provision in Maiduguri (the capital of Borno State in northeast Nigeria) is grossly deficient, as in most cities in sub-Saharan Africa: most people do not have access to a hygienic toilet; large amounts of faecal waste are discharged to the environment without adequate treatment; this is likely to have major impacts on infectious disease burden and quality of life (Hutton et al. 2007). This article briefly summarizes the current sanitation situation in Maiduguri.

This page is part of the fully editable open-access reference source on the sanitation status of all major cities in sub-Saharan Africa.  The resource considers the 40 urban agglomerations in sub-Saharan Africa with a current population of 1 million or more. To read some of the other 40 country profiles, go back tothe resource Homepage

N.B These pages should be considered as incomplete provisional drafts, and contributions are actively requested from specialists with expert local knowledge of each specific city

Table of Contents

Background information

Maiduguri is an urban agglomeration with a population of about 1.1 million people (Brinkhoff 2010). It is a flat inland at about 300 m above sea level, located on the Ngadda River. Climate is tropical wet and dry (Köppen classification Aw). We have information on flooding within the metropolitan area. There is some industrial activity including food processing (Okofor 2003). We have no information on urban agricultural activity. It is likely that a large proportion of the population lives in low-income settlements, but we have no information on this. The city is mainly Muslim but has a significant Christian minority, and in recent years has suffered severe sectarian violence.

Water resources and supply: overview

Water is obtained from boreholes and from the Alau Reservoir fed by the Ngadda and Yederam Rivers (which drain to Lake Chad, about 100 km to the northeast) (CBDA 2009). Northern Nigeria is considered to be under significant risk of increasing water resource scarcity (UNEP/GRID-Arendal 2002, Okofor 2003). We have no information on water supply and distribution within the city.

Sanitation access

We have no information on sanitation access in Maiduguri. If similar to Kano, sanitation solutions in low-income settlements are likely to include poor-quality pit latrines, and possibly bucket latrines. USAID (2009) notes that “Lack of accurate date makes it impossible to determine whether Nigeria is making progress to meet its MDG targets in the WSS sector”.

Sewerage system

As far as we are aware, Maiduguri has no sewerage system (except perhaps for very small systems serving institutions and private estates).

Septage management (septage = nightsoil and/or sludge from onsite facilities)

No information: as far as we are aware, Maiduguri has no formal systems for septage management.

Sewage treatment (sewage = sewered wastes and/or septage)

As far as we are aware, Maiduguri has no major wastewater treatment facilities.

Sanitation in low-income districts

No information available. We are not aware of any detailed mapping of high-sanitation-need districts, or of any specific policy for sanitation improvement in informal settlements.


Federal and state responsibilities are summarized in USAID (2009). We have no detailed information on responsibilities within the Maiduguri. Okofor (2003) states that responsibility for public toilets and nightsoil disposal lies with the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, though we do not know whether this translates to any practical involvement in sanitation.

Sanitation masterplan?

As far as we know, Maiduguri has no sanitation masterplan, or broader masterplan covering sanitation.

Sanitation financing

No information available.

Major investments and donor interventions

We are not aware of any major donor interventions in Maiduguri.

Sources and further reading

Designing Wastewater Systems According to Local Conditions - David M Robbins 
Publication Date: Jan 2014 - ISBN - 9781780404769


Akpodiogaga P & Odjugo O (2010) General overview of climate change impacts in Nigeria. J Hum Ecol 29(1):47-55.

Brinkhoff T (2010) City Population.

Okofor SO (2003) Government policy and environmental waste management in Maiduguri Urban Area, Nigeria. IN: Darkoh MBK & Rwomire A (eds.) Human Impact on Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa. Ashgate Publishing, UK.

Hutton G, Haller L & Bartram J (2007) Economic and health effects of increasing coverage of low cost household drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to countries off-track to meet MDG target 10. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization.

UNEP/GRID-Arendal (2002)  Water availability in Africa. UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library.

USAID (2009) Nigeria: Water and Sanitation Profile.

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