WaterAid Nigeria has organised a workshop for civil society organisations (CSOs) and water and sanitation journalists on urban water sector reform issues.
Tagged ‘Urban Advocacy for Civil society’ the Training Workshop held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital earlier this month provided an opportunity to improve the participation of CSOs and Journalists in reform the processes. Said
The World Bank and European Union are presently implementing urban water sector reform programmes in Nigeria. The World Bank, is coordinating the implementation of the Urban Water Sector Reform Project in five project States include Kaduna, Ogun and Enugu under the 1st National Urban Water Sector Reform Project and in Lagos and Cross River States for the 2nd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project.
The objectives of the project are to increase access to piped water networks in selected urban areas and improve reliability and financial viability of Water Supply Agencies of the Project States.
European Union on its part will be soon be implementing the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programmes (WSSSRP) II and III in 13 States- Anambra, Cross-River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun, Yobe, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers, Adamawa, Ekiti and Plateau under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF)
The WSSSRP seeks to contribute to poverty eradication, sustainable development, and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals through the implementation of programmes that increase access to safe, adequate, and sustainable water and sanitation services.
WSSSRP II and III like its precursor, WSSSRP I is aimed at addressing two major problems associated with the Nigerian water sector – inadequate sector policy, legal and institutional framework; and weak sector institutions that are unable to deliver their mandates.
Speaking on the objectives for organising the urban sector reform workshop, Saheed Mustafa, Policy and Partnership officer of WaterAid in Nigeria said:
“We decided to organise the workshop to sharpen their advocacy and lobbying skills of CSOS, improve understanding of new ways of establishing access to information, improve knowledge and skills in using tools of engagement in monitoring utilities and influencing service delivery, build the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to effectively engage in reform process; expose the CSOs to pro poor approaches and lessons learnt from around the world; develop an action plan for CSOs engagement with state utilities; and improve accountability and responsiveness in the urban WASH sector”.
Participants at the workshop which was drawn from Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation in Nigeria and the Water and Sanitation Media Network were introduced to various concepts of urban sector reform, including why reforms of urban water and sanitation services or utilities are needed; reform options such as privatization, private sector participation, public utility turnaround, social business models; the interests of the poor in reforms; how to influence good governance (increase transparency accountability and responsiveness) in urban water and sanitation services sector; the challenges of working with international finance institutions (IFIs) and how to engage with IFIs with their formal project planning cycles; and Tariffs and Subsidies for improving urban water supply.