Water Sanitation / Hygene (WASH)

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Sylva Clinton September 25th, 2015

Presently in Nigeria, statistics on access to water and sanitation are conflicting, due to divergent definitions, indicators and methodologies applied by different agencies in the Water sector. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently said 3.4 million people die annually as a result of water borne diseases associated with inadequate provision of drinking water and sanitation. Most of these people live in Asia and Africa. Statistics have it that about 130,000 Nigerian children die within the same period because of water related infections. Diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery and hepatitis A, are all caused by ingestion of causative water inhabiting pathogens. Guinea worm, Schistosomiasis and a host of other parasitic nematodes likewise find their way into the human body through drinking or bathing with contaminated water. We believe that since the causative factors of these diseases and their habitats are known. IIMGC has in coalition with other CBO’s and NGO’s joined effort to eradicate this menace in the society.

Sadly Nigeria is still battling with water borne diseases, at a National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) briefing (2003-2007), the country recognised that good health is unobtainable, unless the environments in which the people live are healthy. And to this end, the National Water Supply and Sanitation Strategy under NEEDS, accepted that water supply and sanitation are central to improvements in so many aspects of human, health, education, urban and rural development. Presently in Nigeria, statistics on access to water and sanitation are conflicting, due to divergent definitions, indicators and methodologies applied by different agencies in the Water sector.

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF report for 2012 ranked Nigeria third behind China and India as countries with the largest population without adequate water supply and sanitation coverage.

IIMGC is striving to educate people more on the far reaching consequences of waterborne diseases especially in terms of the huge financial implication of treating these diseases and the number of lost man hours and even possible death when a person is afflicted with any of them. There is also a need to merge the pre- colonial traditional sanitation system whereby family heads monitored sanitation with the western standards of sanitation. This will ensure that everybody is responsible for a clean environment to facilitate proper waste disposal, prevent contaminants and faecal waste being washed into the gutters, canals and rivers thereby finding their way to sources of drinking and bathing water.

Certainly, there is a need for clearly defined responsibility for sanitation, better monitoring and greater commitment on the part of all tiers to ensure that goals set are met. We want to also remind all stakeholders to join the effort of IIMGC Project for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (IPWASH) commitments for rural community primary schools, secondary schools, health centres and households.

Districts water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion project aims to improve the health situation of 69,258people of the poor rural people in each state. The communities in these districts are currently suffering from chronic health problems due to lack of access to clean and adequate water, sanitation and hygiene education that in turn resulted in poor economic status. The project will address these key needs which form the basis of all development through participatory, inclusive and effective means to bring about the following life changing project purposes:

  • We envisage the safe water supply coverage of the districts will be increased by 21.6%,  15.6% and 1.44% in remote districts respectively,
  • Elapsed time to fetch water for rural women and girls will be reduced from 3- 4 hours to 30 minutes after project implementation,
  • The project district population with access to and use of sanitation facilities will be increased by 6.4%, 5.3% and 0.83% in remote districts respectively,
  • Moreover, the implementation of this project will also contribute in achieving the millennium sustainable goals (specifically to Ensure Environmental Sustainability, Reduce Child mortality, Achieve Universal / Primary education and Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger) of the nation.

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