Accelerate actions to meet the 2030 target for clean water and sanitation

9 December 2022
A young girl traveled miles to get water
Image: WaterAid/Etinosa Yvonne

22 March 2023, Abuja Nigeria- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services are vital for everyone. These services are indispensable to economic development, as well as health, tackling gender inequality and building resilience to climate change. 

WaterAid’s latest policy paper: “Ending the water, sanitation and hygiene crisis together: policy priorities for accelerating progress” sets out a series of recommendations to countries working to accelerate progress towards sustainable and safe WASH services for all.

Over the past 20 years, we have seen that real progress is possible when WASH is prioritised in national development. In Nigeria, basic drinking water coverage rose from 43 per cent in 2000 to 73 per cent in 2020. Yet, we are mid-way through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and progress is still unacceptably slow.

The next decade will see a continued rise in population and rural-urban migration. Climate change, political instability, disease outbreaks and economic downturns pose additional threats to health, water security, food security, the economy, gender equality and social development. Ensuring sustainable and safe WASH will become even more critical to build people’s resilience.

With only seven years to deliver on Sustainable Development Goal 6- clean water and sanitation for all. WaterAid is calling on the government to make WASH a top national priority, champion an inspirational vision and drive institutional reform that has results at all levels. Substantially increase WASH financing, ensuring costed finance strategies are developed, backed by sufficient public funds to build a high-performing sector that attracts finance and improves the quality of spending.

Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, said:

No one deserves to be denied of their rights to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. We have less than a decade to achieve the 2030 target for SDG 6- clean water and sanitation for all. Sadly, progress to achieve SDG6 is too slow, but there are ways to accelerate change – by implementing the right WASH policies in government and investing in WASH. Government can provide more, better quality finance for water, sanitation and hygiene in the long term to achieve and sustain national targets.

A situation where only 10% of Nigerians have access to basic WASH, 67% use basic drinking water services and per capita volume of water available to our rural population daily is 10 Liters, 40 liters less than the UN accepted standard, is unacceptable and requite urgent action to accelerate change.

Now is the time to put in place the necessary policies to get back on track and accelerate progress towards universal access by 2030. Governments must lead the way and international organisations, communities, donors and business must play their part.”


For more information, please contact:  

Ejura Adama, Communications Assistant, , +234 7034937582


Notes to Editors:

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit , ; follow @WaterAidNigeria, @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

* In Nigeria:

  • Only 10% of the population has access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
  • 68 million people (33% of the population) lack access to basic drinking water services.
  • 113 million people (55% of the population) lack decent toilets.
  • 48 million people (23% of the population) practice open defecation.
  • 171 million people (83% of the population) lack basic handwashing facilities.
  • Only 11% of schools have access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
  • Only 6% of healthcare facilities have access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
  • Only 4% of parks and markets have access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

* 2021 WASH National Outcome Routine Mapping Survey (WASH NORMS)