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UNICEF and Federal Government Collaborate to Enhance WASH Programs Across Nigeria: Assisting 3,000 Schools in 5 Years

UNICEF and Federal Government Collaborate to Enhance WASH Programs Across Nigeria: Assisting 3,000 Schools in 5 Years

The United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with the Federal Government to provide assistance to thousands of schools over the past five years. Dr. Jane Bevan, UNICEF’s Chief of WASH, revealed this during a recent visit to the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, in Abuja.

Dr. Bevan shed light on the extensive reach of the Federal Government and UNICEF WASH programs in Nigeria since 2018. The impact of these initiatives has been felt across 250 local government areas (LGAs) directly and approximately 400 LGAs indirectly, spanning 26 states. Key achievements include the construction and rehabilitation of over 1,700 solar-powered motorized boreholes and more than 10,000 hand pump boreholes. Furthermore, support for open defecation free (ODF) local government areas and the provision of safe drinking water sources have benefited an estimated 12 million people.

Moreover, over 24 million individuals have gained access to basic sanitation services, with approximately 2,000 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) and 3,000 schools equipped with complete WASH facilities. These efforts underscore the commitment of both UNICEF and the Federal Government to improving the well-being of communities across Nigeria.

In response, Prof. Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources, reiterated the government’s dedication to sustaining its partnership with UNICEF to bolster the implementation of WASH policies at the grassroots level nationwide. He emphasized ongoing consultations with state governments and investors to leverage the WASH sector’s value chain, aiming to expand projects to grassroots communities effectively.

Highlighting the importance of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets for WASH projects by 2030, Prof. Utsev stressed the need for robust collaboration with UNICEF to maximize benefits for the populace. He announced preparations for the WASH Sustainability Check meeting to develop a comprehensive WASH Action Plan in collaboration with commissioners from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in charge of Water Resources and Sanitation.

Furthermore, the Minister revealed that efforts were underway for the implementation of the WASHNORM IV Survey. He urged all relevant stakeholders and supervising directors to expedite the process in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics. This initiative aims to gather essential data to inform policy-making and resource allocation in the WASH sector.

Among those present at the meeting were Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Jonathan Ekhator of UNICEF, as well as directors from the ministry. Their collective presence demonstrated a commitment to fostering partnerships and driving progress in addressing WASH challenges across Nigeria.

The collaboration between UNICEF and the Federal Government underscores a shared commitment to improving access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for all Nigerians. By leveraging expertise, resources, and stakeholder engagement, these initiatives aim to create sustainable solutions and improve the well-being of communities nationwide. As efforts continue to gain momentum, the future holds promise for achieving significant milestones in advancing WASH objectives and realizing a healthier, more prosperous Nigeria for all.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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