Nigeria: States must commit to WASH infrastructure to achieve WASH services by 2030 – Minister

*As Nigerians practicing open defecation rises by 4.35% to 48m in 2019

WorldStage Newsonline– Nigerian’s practicing Open Defecation (OD)  increased to 48 million in 2021 from 46 million in 2019, a 4.35% rise,  according to the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu.

Adamu who spoke at the launching of 2021 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping III (WASHNORM) report in Abuja, said to achieve WASH services by 2030 state government must committed to WASH infrastructure in their states.

Survey report of WASHNORM 2021 revealed that about 67% of Nigerians have access to basic water supply services, a 3% decline from the 2019 WASH NORM data. This decline was also reflected amongst those living in the urban and rural areas as access level in 2019 was higher than 2021. 

According to the Minister, “Access to sanitation indicators across the country shows a slight improvement, though open defecation is still prevalent. Evidently, 23% of the population (48million people) still defecates in the open. People in rural area 31% are four time more likely to practice OD that those living in urban areas 8%. Poorest households 48% are 48 times more likely to practice OD than richest households 1%.

 “The high rate of non-functionality of most urban utilities is a call for concern and must be addressed squarely if the nation must target safely manages access to WASH services by 2030.

“Some key policy initiatives have already been enacted at the national level, including the PEWASH programm, ODF roadmap with the overarching clean Nigeria Campaign, WASH sector Revitalization plan and the sustainable urban and rural was (SURWASH) programme.

“I therefore urge all the state governments to key into these programmes targeted at addressing all the afore-stated challenges highlighted in this report.”

UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, said the 2021 report WASHNORM reveals a modest gain in the proportion of people with access to basic sanitation services at 46%, a country of this size, is indeed a massive achievement in 2019-2020.

“Overall functionality of water facilities across the country also show a positive change in terms of 4% in 2019 to 77% in 2021,” Hawkins said.

“However the challenges ahead are profound, only 10% of Nigerians has access to water sanitation and hygiene service. 48% in Nigerians still practice open defecation and only 17% of house hold have some basic services. “

He said, the level of access water sanitation hygiene in this country is still not on track to achieve the country is still not on track to achieve SDG 6.1 or SDGs 6.2.

Statistician General of the Federation, Adeyemi Adeniran describe the launch of the report a milestone in the National Bureau of Statistics’ statistical production strategy, that is geared towards meeting the needs of policy and decision makers, development partners, researchers and the wider public.

He said, the report of this survey is the third in the series of national assessments of the status of WASH Services, with the first edition launched in 2018.

“It provides reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date WASH data to inform strategic decision-making and address critical gaps in the sector. The vast amount of data collected under this survey would be used for strategic and efficient allocation of resources, as well as for developing and implementing well-targeted policies and programs, towards monitoring and reporting on Goals 6.1 and 6.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

“It will also support the monitoring of progress towards meeting national goals including the National Open Defecation Free Road Map, Partnership for Expanded WASH (PEWASH) and National Action Plan for Revitalization of the WASH sector.

“The survey collected and succinctly dis-aggregated WASH data across the thirty-six states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory, the six geopolitical zones, areas of residence (Urban and Rural), demographic groups, gender, and wealth quintiles. It contains information on the quality, reliability, and adequacy of WASH services.”

He said, There were 6 modules under which data was collected during the survey, these are:  Households; Comprising Water Quality Assessments and Household WASH expenditures;  Water Facilities; WASH in Educational Facilities; WASH in Health facilities; WASH in Public places (market and motor parks) and Water Utilities Study and Consumer Satisfaction Survey.

He noted that the total number of Households studied under this exercise was 24,600, which is comprised of 600households per state, except for Lagos and Kanostates, which had 1,800 households selected in each state.

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