27 June 2012

Nigeria: FG to Launch U.S.$5 Million Global Sanitation Fund

Abuja — Nigeria will launch its five-million-dollar Global Sanitation Fund in September, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), the initiator of the fund, has said.

The council's Programme Officer (Communications), Mr David Trouba, disclosed this in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a Geneva-based organisations which works to improve the lives of poor people by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals around sanitation and water supply.

The Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) was introduced by the council in an effort to help inject additional finances focussed specifically on sanitation and hygiene work in countries.

This fund, according to Trouba, will help to supplement what governments are already doing without taking over the national government's budget.

He noted that some Nigerian experts had been developing a National Global Sanitation Fund Plan since 2010, which would be launched in September and implemented over the next five years.

"The fund programme will be launched probably from around the period of September and it's through that we hope to see a lot of excitement and accelerated innovation in sanitation.

"It's five million dollars and its spread over five years but in the end, it's actually about six million dollars.

"1 million operational cost and five million dollars implementation cost, done at the local level in two states and run by a local executing agent in the country," Trouba said.

He explained that currently, a capacity assessment was ongoing on the project in anticipation of the formal launch of the programme.

According to him, it is expected that the fund would provide adequate, clean water and sanitation services for 12 million people over the next five years.

The communications officer noted that Nigeria was one of the first countries to take advantage of this fund in the second phase of the programme.

The first phase, Trouba noted, was executed in seven countries and had impacted 100,000 people so far from the initial reports.

"The Global Sanitation Fund has been around about four years but it was only from last year that countries started to work on it.

"Our first report from early this year has identified that about 100,000 people in seven countries have gained access to improved sanitation.

"Nigeria is in the group that we call countries eight through 12, so we want to see good results."

He revealed that the programme had earmarked Cross River and Benue as the first states to commence its programmes.

Trouba expressed the hope that good practice would inspire neighbouring states and countries to adopt some of the approaches.

"The important thing to remember is that there are huge numbers of unserved people globally and they are also large in Nigeria; we really just need to roll our sleeves and get on with the work," he said. (NAN)

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