Health

FG Commits to Wash Policies at Grassroot Levels

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Engr. Prof. Joseph Telumum Ustev, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s dedication to continuing its partnership with UNICEF to enhance the implementation of WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) policies at the grassroots levels nationwide.

Prof. Utsev reiterated this commitment during a courtesy visit by UNICEF Chief of WASH, Dr. Jane Bevan, to his office in Abuja today. He highlighted ongoing consultations with State Governments and Investors to leverage the WASH sector’s value chain, emphasizing the need for robust collaboration with UNICEF to expand projects to grassroots communities.

He underscored the crucial significance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2030 targets for WASH projects across Nigeria, ensuring maximum benefits for the populace.

The Minister further disclosed that preparations were underway for the WASH Sustainability Check meeting to develop a WASH Action Plan with the 36 States and FCT Commissioners in charge of Water Resources and Sanitation.

The Minister also maintained that efforts were in top gear for the implementation of WASHNORM IV Survey and urged all relevant stakeholders and supervising Directors to hasten the process with the National Bureau of Statistics.

Earlier in her remarks, Dr. Jane Bevan, shared insights into the Federal Government and UNICEF WASH programs in Nigeria from 2018 to date. She emphasized the direct and indirect impact of the FGN-UNICEF WASH program, spanning over 250 LGAs directly and approximately 400 LGAs indirectly across 26 states.

According to her, the strategic focus of UNICEF collaboration in the WASH sector from 2023 to 2027 encompasses various areas including WASH sector financing, sustainability of WASH systems, WASH in Institutions, ending open defecation in Nigeria, and WASH Sector Coordination.

She recalled that since 2018, notable achievements in the Country include the construction and rehabilitation of over 1,700 solar-powered motorized boreholes, over 10,000 hand pump boreholes, support for ODF local government Areas, and providing access to safe drinking water sources for an estimated 12 million people. Additionally, over 24 million people have gained access to basic Sanitation Services, with approximately 2,000 Primary Health Centers and 3,000 schools equipped with complete WASH facilities.

Dr. Bevan further noted that strengthening efforts also extend to over 10,000 WASHCOMs Communities, 298 LGA WASH Units, and 25 State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies (RUWASSAs). She also pointed out relevant information about funding and financing and key documents and evidence generated efforts.

Present at the meeting were Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Mr. Jonathan Ekhator of UNICEF, as well as Directors of the Ministry.

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