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WASH sector reforms: SUWASA plans to intervene in three more states in Nigeria

Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA)  a regional initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), implemented by Tetra Tech, is planning to extend to two to three more states, in addition to Bauchi state where it is presently intervening.

Towards achieving this, , a SUWASA technical assessment team visited Borno, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Katsina and Rivers States in Nigeria, September 2012,  to better understand the status of water and sanitation delivery with a view to identifying two to three states where a SUWASA reform program would be best delivered and add the most value to the sector.

The five states assessment kicked off in Abuja with a courtesy call to the Hon. Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Reng Ochekpe and the Federal Permanent Secretary Ambassador, Dr. Godknows Boladei Igali. The assessment team led by SUWASA Chief of Party Stefan Kauder received useful insights from the senior water officials on the suitability and readiness of the States to undergo fundamental water sector reforms.

SUWASA puts special consideration on improving and expanding the delivery of water and sanitation services in urban and peri-urban settings, with a focus on meeting the needs of the poor. Working through local partners and networks, the program supports countries committed to reform initiatives with technical assistance and capacity building, supplemented with limited financial support for infrastructure as required.

The expansion of SUWASA to additional states in Nigeria is informed by positive results being witnessed in Bauchi State where SUWASA is supporting comprehensive policy and service level reforms to improve service and cost efficient water service delivery.

Building on this early success, bilateral discussions between the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and USAID / Nigeria mission expressed the need to extend SUWASA support to other Nigerian States.

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources expressed the need to assess the five States with a focus on those that provide an opportunity to leverage ongoing investments and/or other initiatives to promote sector improvement.

Funding for the new reform initiatives will see USAID leverage co-funding from JICA, to be managed by USAID Nigeria. The selected States will receive support for up to three years, increasing SUWASA’s current engagement in Nigeria three times.

A report from the technical assessment team will be discussed with the Minister and her team in mid November and the proposed reform initiatives are expected to commence in March 2013.

By Emily Mutai

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