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World Bank approves $700m credit for water supply, sanitation in Nigeria

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The World Bank has approved $700million for Nigeria’s Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (SURWASH).

A statement announced the credit will provide six million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.

The fund seeks to improve Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and Health Care Facilities and assist 500 communities to achieve open defecation free status.

These would be implemented as part of the Federal Government’s National Action Plan (NAP) for the revitalisation of Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector.

The World Bank recalled that in 2019, 60 million Nigerians lived without access to basic drinking water services, 80 million without access to improved sanitation facilities and 167 million without access to a basic handwashing facility.

The institution observed that the Nigerian government, in recent years, strengthened its commitment toward improving access to WASH services.

The programme would support NAP which was a 13-year strategy prioritising action within three phases.

They are Emergency Plan, Recovery Plan and Revitalisation Strategy and the Clean Nigeria; Use the Toilet Campaign which aims to have Nigeria free of open defecation by 2025.

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, stressed the programme’s contribution to the human capital agenda and its potential to influence key human capital outcomes could not be overemphasised.

Chaudhuri added that participating states will be able to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

This plan is to keep more girls in school, create employment and reduce open defecation, while developing greater resilience to the impact of climate change and conflicts between land and water users.

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