From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
A leading Civil Society Organisation, Connected Development (CODE), has urged the Niger State Government to accelerate the implementation of the revised Niger State WASH Sector Policy, which will improve water, sanitation and hygiene services in the state.
This call was made by the Organisation’s Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, during a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Water Resources in the State.
This was in support from USAID Effective Water, Sanitation and, Hygiene Services E-WASH, “The Improving Nigeria Urban WASH Service Delivery Project” facilitated by CODE seeks to support urban WASH reform in Niger state through multidimensional engagement and mobilization.
The State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon Yusuf Suleiman, pledged to provide citizens with access to information on budget and action plan in line with the targets of the State WASH policy and sector roadmap. He further stated that one of the target in the Ministry’s 90-day of Action plan is to ensure 32,000 people are added to the current 18,000 that have access to pipe-borne water.
According to him, 76% of non-revenue water produced is wasted through leakages and busted pipe which the Ministry is working to rectify. The Ministry is also working to provide 10,000 metres for household connections in Niger State.
Nigeria records a sharp decrease in access to piped water in urban areas, as a result of rapid urbanization, lack of investment, poor prioritization of piped water delivery and institutional constraints in the expansion of services. This issue puts Nigeria on a low point in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 which advocates for clean and sustainable water for all. Undoubtedly, increasing access to WASH aids economic development, poverty reduction, education (particularly for girls), health outcomes and many more.
Connected Development, is collaborating with community-based organisations, State Media Organisatons, the WASH Customer Forums and other WASH groups in Niger State to support civic advocacy, and strengthen policy, institutional, and regulatory frameworks for improved WASH services.