By Tosin Kolade
Abuja – Mr Saheed Mustafa, Partnership and Campaigns Manager, WaterAid Nigeria, has called for strong political will from all stakeholders to meet the Sustainable Development Goals on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) by 2030.
Mustafa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that the country failed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) due to low priority and poor funding.
He said Nigeria must deliberately put up proper funding structure in place toward meeting these targets in the overall interest of improving the livelihood of the citizenry.
“Availability of special funding structure was instrumental in achieving results on the MDGs. In implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), innovative ways of getting funds for WASH programmes should be explored.
“There is the need for stakeholders’ ownership and participation, political will is necessary to meet these targets.
“Late commencement of the MDGs contributed to the inability to attain targets, Nigeria needs to begin putting structures in place to achieve SDGs early enough’’.
Mustafa said there was the need to address the weak coordination and policy framework between Government and other stakeholders, saying this would promote accountability and sustainability.
He commended SDGs 6, which saw an entire goal dedicated to WASH, adding that the goal also accorded special attention to women, children and the vulnerable.
According to him, the goal ensures availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030, as this is possible through innovative programmes for sanitation and Hygiene scale-up.
Mustafa said that the Federal Government’s inauguration of the Partnership for Extended Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) strategy and WASH policies was an effective tool toward meeting these needs.
He called for proper coordination and planning toward making the strategy the needed tool for improved Sanitation and hygiene scale up in the country.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Sulaiman Adamu, had said that the PEWASH programme was designed to be a national collaborative instrument among all stakeholders.
This, he said included government at all levels, development partners, and the private sector.
“It is intended to mobilise all stakeholders’ efforts and channel same toward common goals, targets and standards.
“The primary goal of the programme is to contribute to improvement in public health and eradication of poverty in Nigeria through the achievement of SDGs six, especially in rural areas where access to quality water and sanitation are grossly inadequate”.