Mr. Suileman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, has said that another nine million Nigerians now have access to clean water.
He said this at the official launch of the 2019 National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Supply Roadmap (WASH-NORM) roadmap on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the percentage of the population with access to basic water supply services has steadily increased from 68 percent in 2018 to 70 percent in 2019.
The minister explained that the WASH NORM survey, however, showed a decrease in access to hygiene services between 2018 and 2019.
“On access to sanitation, indicators across the country show a slight improvement, as 44 percent of the population was found to have access to basic sanitation services in 2019 compared to 42 percent in 2018.
“The number of people practicing open defecation has changed marginally from 24 percent in 2018 to 23 percent in 2019,” he said.
Adamu said that WASH-NORM was an annual survey that examined the state of water supply, sanitation and hygiene services across the country.
He added that the survey arose from the need for complete data on WASH to effectively monitor the progress the country was making towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, targets 6.1 and 6.2.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that handwashing gaps should be immediately viewed as a major public health issue.
“In light of the current state of WASH, stronger high-level commitments to evidence-based intervention-based policy initiatives are needed to close the gaps in access to WASH services,” he added.
However, he stated that challenges remain in keeping the commitments made at the national level, taming them efficiently and sustainably at the sub-national level and through line ministries where implementation takes place to ensure that Nigeria achieves its WASH goals.
He commended the efforts of development partners who, he said, worked tirelessly to make the NORM 11 report a reality, including the Office for National Statistics, UNICEF, AfDB and the world bank.
Ms Didi-Walson Jack, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Water Resources, in her comments, said that progress over the last decade showed that WASH targets were not properly recorded due to insufficient data, which subsequently made it difficult to track. proper planning and implementation of policies. and programs.
Benson Ajisegiri, speaking on behalf of the permanent secretary, said the SDGs presented the most ambitious targets for water supply, sanitation and hygiene, as water is inextricably linked to many other sustainable development outcomes.
“It is in recognition of this enormous responsibility that the Ministry, in collaboration with the National Statistics Office and UNICEF, has established the WASH National Results Routine Mapping (WASH NORM) in 2018.
She added that the goal is to make comprehensive and qualitative data available for planning, prioritization, resource mobilization and other critical decision support in the WASH sector.