WaterAid Nigeria launches new country strategy for 2016 - 2021

WaterAid Nigeria has launched its 2016 – 2021 country programme strategy, laying the foundation to achieving access to water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone everywhere by 2030.


6 Sep 2016

Access to safe water in Nigeria is increasing. The 2015 WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) shows that water coverage has increased from 40% in 1990 to 69% in 2015. 

However, the percentage of the population with access to sanitation is falling – from 38% in 1990 to just 29% in 2015. 

Consequently, nearly 45,000 children under the age of five still die every year from diarrhoeal diseases in Nigeria, caused by the nation’s poor levels of access to WASH.

A girl fetches clean water from a borehole in Edumoga-Ibilla community, Benue State.

This wholly unacceptable situation causes untold suffering, affecting human and sustainable development. It particularly affects the lives of women, who carry the burden of fetching water and caring for sick children, and girls, who may be forced to miss school because of the absence of toilets, thus limiting their exposure to education and consequently, the opportunity to make choices that could help lift them out of poverty.

A new strategy

Globally, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for drinking water was met five years ahead of the 2015 schedule. However, 2.3 billion people - at least one in three - still live without a decent toilet.

Despite documented progress of people having improved access to potable water in Nigeria, the country failed to meet the MDG targets for both water and sanitation.

However, efforts to tackle the WASH crisis in Nigeria have been given renewed hope by the country’s signing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. WaterAid Nigeria launches its new strategy with a commitment to seizing this historic opportunity to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and inequality, and accelerate profound change through a shared goal of universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

What's the aim? 

The new Nigerian country strategy aims to overcome the failed targets, and ensure that everyone everywhere has access to clean water and proper toilets by 2030.

WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Michael Ojo, described the strategy as "ambitious and challenging", but is optimistic about the future: “We look forward to an exciting journey that will impact positively on child health, education, livelihoods, the environment and addressing poverty and inequalities."

"Our strategic objectives target strengthening systems to reduce WASH sector blockages; empowering citizens to demand their rights and participate in WASH decision-making and strengthening partnerships to influence the WASH sector and increase access to sustainable WASH services. We will continue to work with the government, colleagues in the development sector and through our partners, to ensure universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all in Nigeria by 2030."

WaterAid Nigeria strategy launch
Employees from WaterAid Nigeria celebrate the launch of the new strategy.

Expansion of WaterAid Nigeria

Since its inception in 1995, WaterAid Nigeria has grown from a small organisation located in one state to a respected national organisation. Innovative and internationally recognised programme delivery approaches have contributed to quality implementation of WASH services at national, state and local government levels.

Millions of Nigerians have benefited directly from our provision of WASH infrastructure in communities, and many more from access to WASH facilities provided indirectly through our collaboration with and assistance to government and other stakeholders. Our capacity to increase awareness and support for various citizens’ actions has raised the profile of WASH and awakened the consciousness of Nigerians to their right to water and sanitation.

Download the full five-year strategy >