NEWSAN, Stakeholders Brainstorm On Establishment Of Water Sanitation, Hygiene Fund

NEWSAN, Stakeholders Brainstorm On Establishment Of Water Sanitation, Hygiene Fund
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Mustapha Suleiman

The Society for Water and Sanitation, NEWSAN, recently, held a stakeholder roundtable meeting on the establishment of water sanitation and hygiene fund to accelerate the attainment of national and global WASH goals by 2025.

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NEWSAN in line with its commitment of ensuring accelerated achievement of Open Defecation Free (ODF) country held a round table forum with stakeholders in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, in the sector on the possibility of establishing the WASH fund for easy coverage of WASH implementation across the country and the engagement of various stakeholders towards the successful implementation of the sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene Programme for Result (SUR- WASH) programme identified  seven states namely: Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Plateau and  Imo.

The meeting held in Abuja was well attended by stakeholders and NEWSAN members across the country.

NEWSAN National Coordinator Mr Benson Attah informed the participants that Nigeria, though, has made substantial progress in developing policies and strategies for water supply and sanitation delivery, but Open Defecation (OD) is still practised by about one third of her population, leaving barely 42 percent of its households having access to safe water. 

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Attah explained that efforts at reducing Open Defecation by the government, donors and implementing partners have so far yielded Open Defecation Free (ODF) in only 71 LGAs out of 774 LGAs which is far too small compare to the nation`s ambition to end open defecation by 2025.

Attah lamented that Nigeria is currently the leading nation practising open defecation in the world after the exit of India.

According to him, studies have shown that poor access to improved water and sanitation remain major contributing factors to high child mortality rates which has led to vulnerability to water borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, resulting in death of over 70 thousand children under five years.

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“Lack of decent WASH services and facilities also contributes to malnutrition and stunted growth in children, poor education for the girl child brings about major economic loses as most women under menstruation are compelled to stay away from work places and businesses,’’ he said.

NEWSAN National Coordinator further noted that WASH services in most public schools are inadequate and unsatisfactory, saying assessment showed that basic sanitation service was only obtainable in 46.67 percent schools, while the rest had limited or no sanitation at all.

Speaking further, Attah sought for more robust collaboration with government and stakeholders in improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) implementation in Nigeria.

He reiterated the commitment of NEWSAN to end water poverty and sustain its slogan of “sanitation and water for all’’ through pragmatic steps feasible and achievable.

Attah commended all the participants from government ministries, agencies and departments, development partners and NGOs for their well-informed, articulated contributions at the round table meeting, saying that their intellectual contributions will further strengthen NEWSAN in achieving its set objectives.

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NEWSAN is a coordinating network of over 300 civil society organisations, NGOs and community based organisations in water, sanitation and hygiene spread over the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. 

Its mandate is to ensure access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for all Nigerians through advocacy, communication, policy influencing, networking, research and knowledge sharing as well as securing governance accountability and transparency in the sector.

Aljazirahnews


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