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160m Nigerians lack basic sanitation – UNICEF, WHO

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A JOINT report by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) titled: “Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa 2000 to 2020: Five Years into the SDGs,” has shown that Nigeria leads the rest of Africa on open defecation and non-availability of basic hygiene services in 2020.

  The report, which was released recently  by the two United Nations’ agencies, presented a snapshot of regional estimates for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in households, schools and health care facilities in the African Union and assessed progress of five years into the SDG period (2015-2020).

  It added that achieving SDG WASH targets in Africa will require a dramatic acceleration in current rates of progress.”

  The report stated that 160 million Nigerians lacked basic sanitation services between 2015 and 2020, which were the years reviewed by the report.

  According to the report, only 43 per cent of Nigerian population had access to safely managed sanitation services while 33 per cent could practice hand washing within the period under review while only 22 per cent of Nigerian population had access to safely managed drink water while 56 per cent and 6.0 per cent had access to basic and surface water respectively.

  The report also showed that 19 per cent of Nigerian population practiced open defecation in 2020 while 31 per cent and 12 per cent had access to safely managed and basic sanitation respectively.

  A breakdown of the report on hygiene in 2020 showed that 33 per cent of Nigerians enjoyed basic hygiene services while 36 per cent and 30 per cent had either limited or no facility respectively.

  Regarding open defecation, the report noted that “208 million people in Africa still practiced open defecation in 2020” with Nigeria topping the chart of “countries in Africa with the largest number of people practicing open defecation in 2020” but identified Nigeria, Ethiopia, Niger, Madagascar and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the top five countries in Africa with largest number of people practicing open defecation within the period under review.

  Nigeria topped the chart with 38 million people and followed by Ethiopia’s 20 million people while Niger, 16 million; Madagascar, 12 million and DRC with 11 million people.

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