The United States Agency for International Development (USID) says five thousand households would benefit from its Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (E-WASH) programme.

The E-WASH programme aims at improving water delivery services and sanitation across six states including Abia, Delta, Imo, Sokoto, Niger and Taraba.

Speaking at the launch in Abuja, USAID Nigeria Mission Director, Stephen Haykin, said the programme would focus on strengthen governance, financial and technical viability of water agencies, which will subsequently lead to an improvement in the health and hygiene of the population.

“Through the course of this activity, USAID will help the water boards demonstrate that better performance that will raise the quality of services for their customers, facilitate economic sustainability by improving finance through a reduction or better targeting of subsidies, and increase the chances of serving all customers in their area, including the marginalized,” Haykin said.

“I am confident that USAID, our new partner state governments, collaborative development partners and the business community, can share our respective expertise, capabilities and resources to develop more professional and accountable water and sanitation utilities,” he noted.

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Haykin said the six beneficiary states were selected based on their willingness to reform the existing functionality of their infrastructure and their potential for positive impact.

The minister of water resources, Suleiman Hussain Adamu, who was represented by the director, water supply of the ministry, Benson Ajisegiri, lauded USAID for the programme.

“By strengthening these state Water Boards’ capacity to make solid investment decisions, improving the efficiency of their billing and collections, and responsiveness to the concerns of their customers, more people and businesses will ultimately have access to water and sanitation services,” he said.

The United Nations had said that about 57 million Nigerians lack access to safe drinking water, and each year, water-borne illnesses kill around one million Nigerian children under the age of five.


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