The Nigerian Government is expected to make new commitments to increase access to national access to water and sanitation services as the 2014 Sanitation and Water (SWA) All High-Level Meeting opens tomorrow in Washington, USA.
At earlier High-Level Meetings in 2010 and 2012, the Nigerian Government set out several firm commitments to address the water and sanitation crisis in Nigeria and-committed to national Increasing access to potable water supply to 75% and 65% for sanitation by 2015.
But these commitments were largely unimplemented with 63 million Nigerians (39% of the population) still without access to safe drinking water, and 112 million (69% of the population) without basic sanitation, putting the country off-track and off-target the MDG water and sanitation targets.
The Nigerian Government MDG national targets are 82% for water and 65% for sanitation.
Estimates of the investment in water supply and sanitation required to meet these MDG based targets range from US$2.5 billion (MDG Office) to US$4 billion annually (US$1.7 billion for water supply and US$2.3 billion for sanitation—CSO2 costing). Out of the calculated US$2.5 billion annual investment required to meet the MDG targets, only about $550 million is being injected by the Nigerian Government due to limited resources and competing needs, leaving a huge investment gap to achieve these targets
Raising an alarm on this, the Water and Sanitation Media Network, last year called on the Federal Government to accelerate access to safe drinking water and sanitation services in Nigeria by fulfilling the commitments it made at high level meetings to leverage additional financing to develop Nigeria’s water and sanitation sector.
In a statement earlier published by eWASH, the Water and Sanitation Media Network noted with regret that the Federal Government has failed to fulfill none of the twenty six commitments it made at the previous high level meetings.
’Nigeria has not fully achieved any of the twenty six WASH commitments, it voluntarily made in several high level meetings between 2000 and 2012. These commitments made at four high level meetings between 2000-2012: the World summit in Johannesburg 2000, United Nations Assembly, New York in 2010, African Sanitation and Hygiene conference, eThekwini in 2011, and the Sanitation and Water for All meeting in Washington, in 2012; but none of them have been fulfilled by the Nigerian Government” said the Water and Sanitation Media Network
The body says ‘this explains why 35 million Nigerians still defecate in the open, about 90 million are without access to safe drinking water, and 130,000 under five Nigerian children die annually from preventable water borne disease”.
Some of these unfulfilled commitments include:
- Harmonization of water and sanitation policies;
- Promoting WASH in Schools;
- Intensify increasing water and sanitation budgets by 15%;
- Ensuring at least 0.5% of the Gross Domestic Product to promoting sanitation and hygiene;
- Declaring access to water and sanitation a human right;
- Encouraging State and Local Governments to create budget lines for sanitation;
- Scaling up Community Led Total Sanitation in the 36 states.
- Increasing national access to improved sanitation to 65% by 2015; and
- Increasing national access to improved water by at least 5% by 2014.
Expressing similar views, Dr Michael Ojo, Nigeria WaterAid’s Country Representative said:
“While there has been some progress from the Government on the Commitments made in both 2010 and 2012 around Increasing Access to water and sanitation, it is clear That The progress has-been very limited. There is still a long way to go before thesis Pledges are honoured in full.
Nearly almost 50 other countries will be participating in the global partnership of Governments, Donors, civil society and other development partners organisms working together to catalyze political leadership and action Improve accountability and water use .