World Bank to provide 6M people basic drinking water, 1.4M people access to improved sanitation
The World Bank has approved $700million for Nigeria’s Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (SURWASH) in order to improve the country’s access to potable water.
According to the statement by the global financial institution, it explained that the loan is from the International Development Association (IDA) and it is expected to provide 6 million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
It stated, “The World Bank today approved the Nigeria Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program (SURWASH).
The $700 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) will provide 6 million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
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The program will deliver improved water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and Health Care Facilities and assist 500 Communities to achieve open defecation free status.
These will be implemented as part of the Government of Nigeria National Action Plan (NAP) for the Revitalization of Nigeria’s Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector.”
World Bank recalled that, in 2019, approximately 60 million Nigerians were living without access to basic drinking water services, 80 million without access to improved sanitation facilities and 167 million without access to a basic handwashing facility.
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In rural areas, 39% of households lack access to at least basic water supply services, while only half have access to improved sanitation and almost a third (29%) practice open defecation – a fraction that has marginally changed since 1990.
It noted that in recent years, the Government of Nigeria (GoN) has strengthened its commitment towards improving access to WASH services, spurred on by the need for Nigeria’s WASH sector to catch up with its regional counterparts.
This led to the Government declaring the State of Emergency in 2018 and launching the NAP, aimed at ensuring universal access to sustainable and safely managed WASH services by 2030, commensurate with the SDGs.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said “given that access to WASH is an important determinant of human capital outcomes, including early childhood survival, nutrition, health, learning, and women’s empowerment – all of which in turn affect labour productivity and efficiency; the Program’s centrality to the human capital agenda and its potential to influence key human capital outcomes cannot be overemphasized”
“Participating States will be able to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene which will help to keep more girls in school, create employment, and reduce open defecation, while developing greater resilience to the impact of climate change, as well as conflicts between different land and water users.” Chaudhuri added.