Monday, July 9, 2012

EU, UNICEF Sign Pact on Water, Sanitation for Nigeria

This Nigerian woman is gathering water from a local pond, which is used as a source of drinking water. But because of a Guinea worm larvae infestation, this water must be filtered to remove the water fleas that carry the parasitic larvae of the Guinea worm. Photo by E. Staub, courtesy of the CDC and The Carter Center.

About 1000 Nigerian communities are to benefit from a five-year contribution agreement for Rural Water and Sanitation Project worth 30m Euro (N6.5b) between the European Union (EU) and UNICEF in 39 local councils of six states in Nigeria.This was contained in a release made available by UNICEF, weekend.

The benefitting states include Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun and Yobe. The aim of the project, according to the statement, is to deepen the achievement made in the improvement of access to safe drinking water supply and proper sanitation and hygiene in the benefitting communities.

The Rural Water and Sanitation project, according to UNICEF would contribute to poverty reduction and also help Nigeria in achieving the water-and health-related Millennium development Goals (MDGs). About two million rural women and children in the six states are projected to benefit from the project.

The release added that the scheme was part of a larger 80m Euro (about N16 billion) EU-funded water and sanitation programme which was signed with the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman last Wednesday. The larger programme, it said, would support good water governance in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and in the six states.

The grant would cover 70 percent of the total investment cost for construction and rehabilitation of water supply facilities. “The states and local governments including benefiting communities will provide 30 percent of the cost in line with the cost-sharing arrangement in the National Policy on Water Supply and Sanitation,” the release added.

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