WATER & SANITATION

WATER & SANITATION

Nigeria has made substantial progress in developing policies and strategies for water supply and sanitation service delivery but faces major challenges in translating these into action. About 70 million people, out of a population of 171 million, lacked access to safe drinking water, and over 110 million lacked access to improved sanitation in 2013. Open defecation rates, at 28.5 percent pose grave public health risks.

Every year, an estimated 124,000 children under the age of 5 die because of diarrhea, mainly due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. Lack of adequate water and sanitation are also major causes of other diseases, including respiratory infection and under-nutrition. Having access to running water may well be considered a national security issue considering the important water is to averting diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and even the spread of Ebola which was averted by the washing of hands. Adequate water supply is a problem that faces Nigerians daily, almost regardless of income bracket. People living in rural areas, probably have to go and fetch water from a well, stream, or river. While those wealthy enough to build their own houses, have to sink boreholes. If that house is in a sand-filled area, highbrow or not, boreholes have to drill past the 200 meters mark to get useable water or contend with the contaminated water available at shallower depths. The person who can solve the challenge of getting clean pipe-borne water into every household in Nigeria will be a State hero.

Many schools in Nigeria lack safe, private toilets and hand-washing facilities. This affects enrolment and performance, particularly in the case of girls who may be forced to miss school because of lack of these facilities and limit them to education which could have given them exposure to make better choices. The impact of water, hygiene and sanitation falls excessively on women and girls, the main carriers and managers of waters.

The economic impact of poor sanitation and hygiene cost the Nigerian economy the equivalent of almost 1.3 percent of gross domestic product.

Conflict and natural disasters exacerbate the situation of water, sanitation and hygiene with a great measure of setbacks as seen in the North-Eastern and some parts of the country involve in conflicts.

Water and sanitation coverage rates in Nigeria are amongst the lowest in the world. According to   UNICEF sponsored Water and Sanitation Summary Sheet authored by Water and Sanitation Monitored Platform the country rated as the bottom 25 countries worldwide in terms of sanitation coverage.

The Sustainable Development Goals SDGs which Nigeria accorded to gives hope for tackling the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene issues in the country with the expectation of creating the global vision of access to safe WASH by 2030.

Our Strategic lays a foundation of a vision of 5 years (2015- 2020) Plan aimed at working towards the global vision of achieving for everyone, everywhere access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030; Focusing mainly on strong sector development and stakeholders’ engagement.