September 17, (THEWILL) – The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has identified a funding gap of $9.2 billion in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in Nigeria, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Deputy Representative of Programme, UNICEF Nigeria, Dr Rownak Khan, made the disclosure when she visited the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, and the Minister of State, Bello Goronyo, in Abuja.
Khan said that for Nigeria to achieve the roadmap for the WASH sector, the funding gaps must be closed, adding that tiers of government must do more by providing an enabling environment that would advance the cause.
According to her, working together to change the poor narrative will require new government financing at all levels, noting that low water access and poor sanitation are affecting children the most.
She pledged UNICEF’s sustained partnership with the Federal Government to achieve the Campaign to End Open Defecation and Improve Access to Water Supply.
Addressing the delegation, the minister acknowledged the huge contributions of UNICEF to Nigeria’s growth and development in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation.
Utsev said that Nigeria cannot underestimate the huge linkage between WASH, health promotion, and economic growth to help promote inclusive development.
“UNICEF has done tremendously well in the areas of water and sanitation, nutrition and health and the impact is felt in all aspects.
“Nigerian government is also working on its programmes like WASH in schools, WASH in health and Youth WASH interventions,” he said.
Utsev assured UNICEF of the Federal Government’s commitment towards improving the nation’s WASH sector, adding that the government’s door was always open for more collaboration with development partners.
Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Goronyo, stressed the need for key stakeholders in the WASH sector to up their game in supporting the Federal Government to actualise the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.
He said that partnership with the Federal Government would help achieve the campaign to end open defecation and improve access to water supply.
The meeting had in attendance, the Permanent Secretary, Dame Didi Walson-Jack and some directors in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation.