WaterAid has commenced the implementation of the second phase of its global clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene projects in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Nigeria and Ghana with $12 million.
Specifically in Nigeria, the organization is focusing on its Strengthening Water Sanitation and Hygiene Delivery Systems (SWADS) project in Bauchi State.
The three year project commencing from 2017 to 2019, being supported by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), aims to fortify the water, sanitation and hygiene sector to deliver equitable and sustainable access to WASH services to the poor and marginalised people in the state through district wide and rights based approaches.
A statement by WaterAid Nigeria’s Communication and Media Manager, Oluseyi Abdulmalik, indicated that the project followed a successful partnership with HSBC from 2012-2016 worth $25 million and implemented in six of WaterAid’s country programmes in the six countries.
According to the spokesperson, the organization carried out the first phase of the project across three states – Bauchi, Benue and Plateau, transforming the lives of communities in these three states by implementing a mixture of low-cost technologies delivering lasting water, sanitation and hygiene solutions.
Abdulmalik stated that over the course of the project, WaterAid Nigeria was able to reach over 220,000 people with clean water and nearly 400,000 with sanitation facilities.
The second phase of the project will be implemented in Bauchi State where 65% of the people lack access to sanitation and just over half have access to clean water; most of the citizens who do not have access to these services are in the rural areas.
She stated further that through the SWADS project, WaterAid seeks to support government led plans in ensuring that WASH is prioritised in policies, plans and budgets; to improve WASH services in communities; to empower citizens to demand their rights and hold government accountable for the provision of sustainable WASH services as well as support to improve cross-sector integration towards increasing access to these basic needs for everyone, everywhere.
Abdulmalik clarified further: “Clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene is crucial for human and national development yet 33% of Nigeria’s population does not have clean water, 67% do not have a decent toilet and 26% practice open defecation. The impact on health, education, livelihoods, women and girls is enormous. We must change the status quo and to do this, we must go beyond just providing toilets and taps; we must deliver sustainable interventions that are driven by a strong sector.
“We are enthusiastic about the SWADS project and we’ve been brainstorming, planning and collaborating with a wide range of partners and stakeholders at different governance levels and with the relevant expertise and skills required to help unblock the challenges and to strengthen the systems responsible for providing increased access to water, sanitation and hygiene to the citizens.
“Our leaders must honour their commitment to ensure everyone everywhere has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030”, she added.
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities.
Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 24 million people with sanitation.