THE African Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday announced the approval of a $124.2 million loan to provide potable water for residents of Ondo States and its environs.
The facility is expected to also address water challenge of at least 1.3 million Akure residents, fix sanitation issues in the state as part of the Federal Government’s Urban Water Sector Reform and Akure Water Supply and Sanitation Project.
Aside, it would capture installation of sanitation infrastructure in selected schools, hospitals and markets.
In a statement by the Bank, the credit includes the African Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of $20 million. It however puts the entire sum earmarked for the five years project at $222.69 million.
“The project will particularly contribute to improving the living conditions of the communities in the project area.
“Involving these communities in the public awareness and marketing activities, will increase the project’s ownership and ensure they pay for the water supply and sanitation services,” said Ebrima Faal, Senior Director at the Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office.
Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights to Water which entitles every Nigerian access to clean, sufficient and affordable water for both domestic and personal uses.
However, the nation is currently confronted with water, sanitation and proper hygiene challenges. As a result, in October, Nigeria globally ranked highest among nations with poor access to potable water and sanitation.
In 2014, about 100 million Nigerians were said to lack access to basic sanitation facilities while 63 million do not have means to improve potable water.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) also attributed poor sanitation to high morbidity and death of under-five children in the country, thus advocated for the provision of equal access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in the country.
However, the AfDB pledged to establish water and sanitation investment programme such that would contribute to scaling up of the national WASH Action plan 201 – 2030 at the federal level.
“The project, which combines “hard” water, sanitation and environmental protection infrastructure with “soft” analytical and institutional reform support, aligns with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (TYS) and its High 5s priority areas, the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Policy,” the bank said.
“As at December 13 2019, the Bank’s active portfolio in Nigeria comprised 61 operations, of which 54 are national and seven are regional. The total commitment to these projects is $4.8 billion and includes water and sanitation projects worth $606.0 million.”