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FG, UNICEF reaffirms commitment for WASH

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By Usman Oladimeji

Accomplishing the goal would bring high advantages for Nigerians.

The Minister in charge of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Telumum Utsev, has reaffirmed Federal Government commitment to maintaining its ongoing collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector. This partnership aims to enhance the execution of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene WASH initiatives in local communities across the nation. During a visit to the Minister’s office in Abuja, Dr. Jane Bevan, the Chief of WASH at UNICEF, was reassured of the country’s commitment to the common objective.

Professor Utsev clarified that the ministry is actively working with state governments and investors to maximize the potential of the value chain in the WASH sector. Their main goal is to strengthen partnerships with UNICEF in order to increase the scope of projects and connect with communities on a local level. He stressed the significance of meeting the WASH project targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria by 2030, highlighting that this accomplishment would bring about the highest possible advantages for the people of Nigeria.

Stakeholders, supervising directors urged to work with NBS.

He further discussed that plans were being made for an upcoming gathering known as the WASH Sustainability Check, which is aimed at collaborating with the 36 states and FCT commissioners who oversee water resources and sanitation in order to create a WASH Action Plan. Also, the minister emphasized the importance of carrying out the WASHNORM IV Survey and called for close collaboration between stakeholders, supervising directors, and the National Bureau of Statistics to ensure its successful implementation.

Dr. Bevan pointed out the significant progress made in the country since 2018, such as the completion and repair of over 1,700 solar-powered motorized boreholes and more than 10,000 hand pump boreholes. She mentioned that significant steps have been taken to promote Open-Defecation-Free (ODF) environments in local communities and ensure safe drinking water for around 12 million individuals. She also highlighted that more than 24 million people now benefit from improved sanitation services.

Government, UNICEF and others introduced a bold strategy.

UNICEF remains dedicated to working alongside the government and various stakeholders in order to guarantee that children can easily obtain clean water. This joint endeavor will be rolled out in a step-by-step manner. In addition to addressing water pollution, UNICEF is focused on educating locals on how to properly oversee water supplies and improve the accessibility of sanitary amenities. The Clean Nigeria campaign relies on these dedicated efforts to eliminate open defecation practices, recognizing their importance.

Furthermore, UNICEF extends its reach to communities that lack access to clean water and proper sanitation, recognizing the importance of these basic necessities for the health and safety of all children, regardless of their school enrollment status. In January, the Nigerian Government, along with UNICEF and other partners, introduced a bold strategy at the WASH Review Meeting held in Abuja to enhance access to durable, safe, and eco-friendly drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities across Nigeria. The government’s dedication to filling sector deficiencies and emphasizing WASH was showcased through a range of successful projects.

Related Article: FG, UNICEF to reform water, sanitation sector

Some of the government’s efforts to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) include implementing the National Action Plan for WASH Sector Revitalisation, launching the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ Campaign, and initiating the Sustainable Urban and Rural WASH (SURWASH) Project. To further demonstrate their dedication, the government has also created a National WASH Policy and collaborated with various organizations through MOU for SchoolWASH, HealthWASH, and YouthWASH Programmes. The government’s commitment to improving Nigeria’s WASH statistics and providing sustainable services in public areas is evident through these notable initiatives.

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