Accelerating actions to meet the 2030 target for clean water and sanitation 22 March 2023, Abuja Nigeria
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services are vital for everyone. These services are indispensable to economic development, as well as health, tackling gender inequality and building resilience to climate change.
WaterAid’s latest policy paper: “Ending the water, sanitation and hygiene crisis together: policy priorities for accelerating progress” sets out a series of recommendations to countries working to accelerate progress towards sustainable and safe WASH services for all.
Over the past 20 years, we have seen that real progress is possible when WASH is prioritized in national development.
In Nigeria, basic drinking water coverage rose from 43 per cent in 2000 to 73 per cent in 2020. Yet, we are mid-way through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and progress is still unacceptably slow.
The next decade will see a continued rise in population and rural-urban migration. Climate change, political instability, disease outbreaks and economic downturns pose additional threats to health, water security, food security, the economy, gender equality and social development. Ensuring sustainable and safe WASH will become even more critical to build people’s resilience.
With only seven years to deliver on Sustainable Development Goal 6- clean water and sanitation for all. WaterAid is calling on the government to make WASH a top national priority, champion an inspirational vision and drive institutional reform that has results at all levels.
Substantially increase WASH financing, ensuring costed finance strategies are developed, backed by sufficient public funds to build a high-performing sector that attracts finance and improves the quality of spending.
In Nigeria, WaterAid, with support of partners, including PepsiCo Foundation has made significant contributions towards the provision and strengthening of WASH systems in many communities.
Through a recent partnership with organisations like the PepsiCo Foundation, WaterAid is also targeting the improvement of public health in Lagos State. The project in Lagos State, will see about 173,000 people gain access to sustainable water and sanitation services and hygiene behaviour change interventions.
Evelyn Mere, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, said: “No one deserves to be denied of their rights to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. We have less than a decade to achieve the 2030 target for SDG 6- clean water and sanitation for all. Sadly, progress to achieve SDG6 is too slow, but there are ways to accelerate change – by implementing the right WASH policies in government and investing in WASH.
Government can provide more, better quality finance for water, sanitation and hygiene in the long term to achieve and sustain national targets.
A situation where only 10% of Nigerians have access to basic WASH, 67% use basic drinking water services and per capita volume of water available to our rural population daily is 10 Liters, 40 liters less than the UN accepted standard, is unacceptable and requires urgent action to accelerate change.
Now is the time to put in place the necessary policies to get back on track and to accelerate progress towards universal access by 2030.
Governments must lead the way and international organisations, communities, donors and business must play their parts.”