The Nigerian Water Research Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WaterAid to enhance learning and capacity building on rural sanitation in the country.

Signed in Abuja on Tuesday, the MoU will focus on strengthening Nigeria’s action plan of ensuring universal access to sustainable and safely managed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or WASH services for every Nigeria by 2030.

Three years ago, Nigeria declared a state of emergency on the WASH sector and launched a national action to revitalise the sector.

President Muhammadu Buhari, also in 2019, signed an executive order to ensure Nigeria becomes open-defecation free by 2025.

However, in spite of these commitments, Nigeria is said to still rank top among countries, globally, with the highest population of

people who defecate in the open, and with about 112 million people who lack access to basic sanitation.

MOU

Speaking shortly after the signing of the MoU, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the agreement will augment other efforts on ground to help Nigeria end open defecation and improve WASH services.

He said the partnership also involves developing a curriculum in schools for students to learn about basic sanitation.

The director of the National Water Research institute, Emmanuel Adanu, said the commitment will help bridge the knowledge gap on sanitation. particularly in rural Nigeria.

Earlier, in her own remark, the WaterAid Country Director, Evelyn Mere, said, “Under this partnership, we will develop modules and run certified short courses on the ‘Rethink Rural Sanitation’ guide – an approach developed by WaterAid in collaboration with Plan International UK and UNICEF – to guide policy makers, planners and implementers on rural sanitation programming.”

“The partnership will promote learning and capacity building on rural sanitation in Nigeria working through a system-based approach to embed the principles and approaches to enhance, sustainable, equity and scale towards universal access by 2030. It will review and integrate the emerging framework for rural sanitation promotion in Nigeria…”

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