206 million

Few places are as diverse as Nigeria. Known around the world for its fashion, music, food and film, it is the most densely populated country in Africa. Home to over 206 million people, it buzzes with the customs and languages of more than 500 ethnic groups.

With so many people in close contact, Nigeria is particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Handwashing is a key defence against coronavirus, but over 46 million Nigerians still live without a source of clean water.

We’re advocating Government expansion of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in at-risk communities. We’ve grown our hygiene campaign to reach 6 million people and put contactless handwashing facilities in health centres and public areas.

Our response to COVID-19 in Nigeria

Nigeria’s economy is driven by oil. This has helped it grow from a developing country to lower-middle-income status, although changes in global oil prices make progress unstable.

Despite this, Nigeria has made solid progress in reaching people with water almost eight in ten people now have clean water to drink. But with under half the population having a decent toilet, the country has a big task ahead of it to install the right sanitation systems.

We are working with the Government as it renews its efforts to reach the people who are most in need of these essential services. And powerful voices are helping us – from women and young people to traditional and religious institutions.

Together, we will bring about lasting change across the whole country, not just in villages and local communities. Lasting change in millions of people’s lives.

people don't have clean water.

That's over 1 in every 5 people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

That's over half the population living without this essential.

Almost children under 5 die a year.

Due to poor water and sanitation.

Nowhere better to go

The Ajeromi-Ifelodun slum in Lagos is one of many where no running water or sewage system exist for people like Modinatu. Across the country, millions of people have no choice but to go to the toilet in the open.

WaterAid/Tom Saater

Ready to make a difference? Donate to WaterAid and help change someone's life.


Keep up to date with WaterAid Nigeria on social media.

Give an unforgettable gift

We've got the perfect presents for every occasion in our Shop for Life.