Governors’ Forum can help funding, prioritise water, sanitation projects in Nigeria- NEWSAN

Mr Benson Attah, National Coordinator, Society for Water and Sanitation on Wednesday urged the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and other stakeholders to mobilise funds and provide support to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in the country.

Attah told Newsmen in Abuja that all states of the federation including the FCT must do more to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals target six on water and sanitation.

According to him, only few states of Jigawa and Katsina are making giant strides in the eradication of open defecation, saying this was crucial towards meeting the Universal Access to Safely Managed WASH services by 2030.

The national coordinator noted that it was important for all state governments to strengthen and upgrade their LGA WASH units to departments, saying this would help coordination, provide necessary budgetary allocations, making the LGAs functional and sustainable.

He said the upcoming 2022 Sector Ministers Meeting in Indonesia was an opportunity to mobilise political decision makers and development partners to ensure climate, economic and health recovery strategies integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into all national plans.

“We are aware of the various efforts and commitments made in the WASH sector in Nigeria strongly led by the Federal Government, but more needs to be done if we must meet 2030 agenda.

“We have to change this narrative if we truly have our eyes on 2025, we have to ensure political prioritisation of Human Right in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

“The intertwined health, economic and climate crises highlight the crucial role that water, sanitation and hygiene must play in building resilient communities and achieving sustainable development.

“As Nigerian Ministers that are involved are making efforts and prepare to attend this meeting, we trust they are our heroes and for the sake of our 2025 target as a Nation, we hereby call on them to represent us well’’.

Attah however said health, economic and climate crises highlight the crucial role that water, sanitation and hygiene must play in building resilient communities and achieving sustainable development.

He said this year’s meeting emphasise the important position and role of water, sanitation and hygiene in these three sectors, climate change, economic and health tagged triple crises.

“One would not be surprised at this title in view of the roles Water, Sanitation and Hygiene has played in the disease prevention and recovery across the world in the last two years.  

“Also, “90 per cent of the problems caused by climate change are estimated to be water related, leading to droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events for this reason, we need to align climate and water policies so that human rights are realized, climate risks are reduced, and there is more money available for adaptation’’.

The Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), is a network of no less than 300 civil society groups, working on improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria.

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