The World Bank has approved a $700 million loan for Nigeria to tackle open defecation and other sanitary problems in the country.
The $700 million credit from the bank’s subsidiary, the International Development Association (IDA) will specifically cater for Nigeria’s Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programme (SURWASH).
WHO made this announcement on its website in Washington D. C. on Thursday
According to the statement, the credit will provide six million people with basic drinking water services, and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
It would also deliver improved Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and health care facilities and assist 500 communities in achieving open defecation-free status.
These would be implemented as part of the federal government’s National Action Plan (NAP) to revitalise 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 per cent of households lack access to at least basic water supply services, while only half have access to improved sanitation and almost a third (29 per cent) practice open defecation, a fraction that has marginally changed since 1990,”
The statement added “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. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.