The World Bank has approved $700 million credit to Nigeria’s Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Program (SURWASH) to aid access to potable water and improved sanitation services.
World Bank in a statement on Thursday explained that the loan is from the International Development Association (IDA) and is expected to provide 6 million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
It stated: “The World Bank today approved the Nigeria Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program (SURWASH).
“The $700 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA)* will provide 6 million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
“The program will deliver improved water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and Health Care Facilities and assist 500 Communities to achieve open defecation free status. These will be implemented as part of the Government of Nigeria National Action Plan (NAP) for the Revitalization of Nigeria’s Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector.”
In 2019, approximately 60 million Nigerians were living without access to basic drinking water services, 80 million without access to improved sanitation facilities and 167 million without access to a basic handwashing facility.
In rural areas, 39% of households lack access to at least basic water supply services, while only half have access to improved sanitation and almost a third (29%) practice open defecation – a fraction that has marginally changed since 1990.
In recent years, the Government of Nigeria (GoN) has strengthened its commitment towards improving access to WASH services, spurred on by the need for Nigeria’s WASH sector to catch up with its regional counterparts.
This led to the Government declaring a State of Emergency in 2018 and launching the NAP, aimed at ensuring universal access to sustainable and safely managed WASH services by 2030, commensurate with the SDGs.
The World Bank’s IDA, established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.