WaterAid urges Nigeria to prioritise women’s well-being through WASH investments

WaterAid has called on  Nigerian Government to prioritise  women’s well-being through targeted investments in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector.

Evelyn Mere, WaterAid’s Country Director, made this call in a statement issued in commemoration of International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8.

Mere said that the organisation acknowledged women as a critical demographic; constituting 50 per cent of the nation’s population.

She said that strategic WASH initiatives were pivotal to improving women’s lives and propelling societal development.

Mere said that neglecting half of the population impeded national progress, underscoring the importance of investing in safe and inclusive WASH.

“The lowest hanging fruit for investing in women to achieve progress is to invest in safe and inclusive WASH.

“Increasing access to clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene protects the rights of women, promotes their dignity, and enhances national development.”

She said WaterAid had designed female-friendly toilets; urging government at all levels to adopt and invest in their construction for widespread implementation in public places.

According to her, the organisation believes that such women-friendly investments are crucial in addressing the disparities impacting women, particularly in the context of poor access to WASH.

She said investment in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) was one of the most effective ways to invest in women, with poor access impacting women and the girl child disproportionately.

“Issues such as the time and health burden of water collection, vulnerability to infection, and the lack of accessible menstrual hygiene facilities contribute to the exclusion of women from economic and livelihood activities.

“WaterAid calls on the Nigerian government to mark this year’s International Women’s Day by investing in increased access to WASH.

“This includes the provision of potable water, investment in safe and sustainable sanitation facilities, and ensuring the availability of accessible and affordable hygiene materials to preserve women’s dignity,’’ she said.

Celebrated annually on March 8, the theme of 2024 International Women’s Day is “Invest in women: Accelerate progress.’’

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