Posts tagged ‘wateraid’

March 23, 2015

Nigeria: WaterAid Launches Massive WASH Campaign

Adella Mbabazi
March 23, 2015

The WaterAid has launched a new four-year “Healthy Start” campaign showing the devastating impact that a lack of safe water and sanitation has on the health of children in developing countries.

The launch was part of activities commemorating the 2015 World Water Day, held yesterday March 22 under the theme ‘Water and Sustainable Development.’

In 2015, the theme for World Water Day is 'Water and Sustainable Development'. It’s about how water links to all areas we need to consider creating the future we want according to UN Water - See more at:

In 2015, the theme for World Water Day is ‘Water and Sustainable Development’. It’s about how water links to all areas we need to consider creating the future we want according to UN Water – See more at:

The briefing “Healthy Start: the first month of life” shows that annually nearly half a million babies die in the first month of life because they are born into unhygienic conditions and one in five deaths of newborn babies in the developing world are caused by infections strongly linked to dirty water or unhygienic conditions. In Nigeria, nearly 52,000 newborn babies died from sepsis, tetanus and other infections linked to dirty water and lack of hygiene in 2013 alone.

The goal for “Healthy Start” is that decision leaders and policy makers ensure that survival rates and health outcomes are improved for children by integrating water, sanitation and hygiene within their policies, activities and rhetoric. It in particular aims at making sure that the health sector joins with the water and sanitation sector in delivering water, sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030 as an essential requirement for increasing the numbers of children who have healthy childhoods, better prospects for healthy lives and for leaving poverty behind.

The campaign launches as a recently released World Health Organization report reveals that nearly half of hospitals and clinics in Africa do not have access to clean water. And of the 58% of healthcare facilities that have some access, only half are able to count on a safe and reliable supply of clean water.

The World Health Organization report “Water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities: status in low and middle income countries and way forward” shows that across 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, access to water in healthcare facilities is as low as 20%. It is the first survey of its kind and shows that in the 54 developing countries studied, 38% of healthcare facilities do not have clean water and 19% do not have safe toilets. Over a third (35%) of hospitals and clinics did not have anywhere for staff or patients to wash their hands with soap.

The WaterAid briefing highlights the risks presented to babies by healthcare facilities that do not offer a hygienic birth environment. It outlines measures needed to ensure that every healthcare facility has clean running water, safe toilets and sinks with soap available to staff and patients.

Dr. Michael Ojo, WaterAid Nigeria’s Country Representative says, “Being born into unhygienic conditions condemns too many babies in the Nigeria and the developing world to a tragically early and avoidable death and their parents to needless heartbreak. Tragically for these one in five babies who die in their first month in the developing world, just being washed in clean water and cared for in a clean environment by people who had washed their hands could have prevented their untimely deaths. We want the global community to commit to ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation by 2030.”

Diarrhoea is the second biggest child killer in Nigeria and nearly 100,000 children under the age of five die of diarrhoea in Nigeria every year as a result of the nation’s poor levels of access to water and sanitation.

May 31, 2014

Nigeria: WaterAid Supports UN’s Call to End Open Defecation

WaterAid and WaterSan Perspective
May 31, 2014

WaterAid has welcomed a new UN campaign championed by UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson to end the practice of open defecation.

Over one billion people around the world relieve themselves in bushes, in fields or at the sides of roads or railway tracks for lack of even a basic, shared pit in the ground. This is 14 per cent of the world’s population, or one person in seven.

A latrine in rural Uganda.  The world remains behind in providing universal access to safe and hygienic toilets.

A latrine in rural Uganda. The world remains behind in providing universal access to safe and hygienic toilets.

Where there is open defecation, pathogens spread quickly, causing diarrhoea, cholera, bilharzia (a freshwater worm) and other diseases.

In a country like Nigeria, recent WHO/UNICEF JMP figures indicate that about 122 million Nigerians do not have access to improved sanitation and a staggering 39 million (23 per cent of the population) practice open defecation.

Based on these figures, indications are that at present rates of progress, Sub-Saharan Africa overall will not become open defecation free until 2063.

WaterAid is campaigning for everyone, everywhere to have access to safe water and basic sanitation by 2030. Some 748 million people in the world are without safe water, while another 2.5 billion are without adequate sanitation.

Dr. Michael Ojo, Country Representative of WaterAid Nigeria, said: “It is time for a drastic change to the status quo. It is hard to believe that in this day and age, people must still risk their health and dignity for the lack of a basic toilet. It’s even more difficult for girls and women who risk danger and harassment every time they go in search of a private place to relieve themselves. Safe water and basic sanitation has to be a top priority in effectively tackling extreme poverty. We call upon our leaders to take action.”

Without basic toilets, girls are more likely to drop out of school, and adults are less able to care for their families or to work, exacting huge social and economic costs.

Several people living in such places are not aware that poor sanitation may cause lots of diseases

Several people living in such places are not aware that poor sanitation may cause lots of diseases

The new UN campaign to end open defecation is expected to last till the end of next year, as the UN develops a new set of development goals to replace the original Millennium Development Goals.

Among the goals were pledges to cut in half the proportions of people without safe water and sanitation, respectively. Though the overall universal target on water has been met; some individual countries, especially developing countries like Nigeria, are yet to meet those goals and those still without safe water are the hardest to reach. The target on sanitation remains the most off-track.

Recently, in April this year, Nigeria joined 44 other developing countries at the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting and committed once again to achieving universal access to water and sanitation and eliminating open defecation nationwide by 2025.

Up to 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.

March 22, 2013

Governments Can Make Water and Sanitation for All Africans a Reality by 2030 says WaterAid

WaterSan Perspective
March 22, 2013

WaterAid –an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation is calling on international leaders to support an ambitious target of providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all Africans by 2030.

The agency’s call comes today March, 22 on the 20th anniversary of World Water Day as over 50,000 people take part in more than 30 mass walking events across Africa to call on their governments to keep their promises on access to clean water and safe sanitation.

WaterAid logo

WaterAid logo

They are joining more than 350,000 people worldwide who are participating in World Walks for Water and Sanitation between Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 March.

Writing in a new report published by WaterAid today, President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia said:
“Addressing the global water and sanitation crisis is not about charity, but opportunity. According to the World Health Organisation, every $1 invested in water and sanitation produces an average of $4 in increased productivity. It enables sustainable and equitable economic growth. In short, it will not be possible to make progress in eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and securing sustainable economic development in the future without improving access.”

WaterAid’s report ‘Everyone Everywhere’ launched today by President Johnson Sirleaf at a UN event on water in the Hague, in the Netherlands, sets out a vision for making safe water and sanitation available to all and reviews the progress that has been made to date in tackling water and sanitation poverty.

The report finds that, lack of progress in improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene is acting as a brake on progress in economic and human development particularly in child health, nutrition and education.

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

WaterAid cites World Health Organisation figures that show the economic gains that Africa could make through everyone on the continent having access to water and sanitation.

Africa could gain $33 billion every year from everyone having access to water and sanitation. Of this $4.5 billion would come from reduced healthcare costs; $7.2 billion could be gained from reduced mortality; $2 billion from less time taken off from work; and a staggering $19.5 billion in general time saved.

The benefits for Africa in lives saved from everyone having access to water and sanitation on the continent are also significant. It is estimated by the Institute of Health Metrics that around 550,000 people die of diarrhoea diseases every year in Sub-Saharan Africa(3), 88% of whom, according to the World Health Organisation, can be attributed to a lack of water, sanitation and hygiene(4) that equates to 480,000 deaths due to a lack of these services on the continent.

Nelson Gomonda, WaterAid Pan-Africa Programme Manager said: “Nothing could better demonstrate that our continent has truly begun to realise its potential and is coming true on its promise of progress and development, than achieving the fundamental goal of every African having safe drinking water.”

“330 million Africans today live without access to clean water, so the road to travel is long, but we can for the first time see the end in sight. With more than 1,000 African children under the age of five dying every day from diseases brought about from a lack of water and sanitation, Africans will not accept failure. We have to reach this target.”

“More than 50,000 Africans are taking part in walks to show that that these services are a priority that we want and need. Africans understand how a lack of water and sanitation affects their health, economic productivity, their children’s education, women’s rights – across every spectrum of development, water and sanitation plays its part. This is why progress on these basic services will have such important consequences for our continent and people.”

wwfwas logo 2013

wwfwas logo 2013

Currently in Sub-Sahara Africa, 334 million people (39% of the population) lack access to clean drinking water, while under 600 million (70%) lack access to sanitation(5).

To tackle this problem now, WaterAid is calling on international leaders to: Recognise the need for the framework that replaces the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 to reflect the contribution of water, sanitation and hygiene to other areas of poverty reduction, including health, education, gender equality, economic growth and sustainability; for the UN to set a new global target to achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030; Identify ways of accelerating future rates of progress on sanitation if the goal of universal access is to be met by 2030.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

November 19, 2012

Lack of Toilet Exposes African Women and Girls to Shame, Fear and Violence

WaterSan Perspective Reporter and
November 19th, 2012

Seven in ten women in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a safe toilet, threatening their health and exposing them to shame, fear and even violence.

This means that on World Toilet Day, 19 November, 297 million African women and girls lack safe and adequate sanitation and of those 107 million don’t have a toilet at all.

A survey commissioned by WaterAid of women living across five slums in Lagos, Nigeria, showed that one in five had first or second hand experience of verbal harassment and intimidation, or had been threatened or physically assaulted in the last year when going to the toilet. Anecdotal evidence from other African countries suggests that the scale of the problem may be much larger than this.

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said:
“When women don’t have a safe, secure and private place to go to the toilet they are exposed and put in a vulnerable position and when they relieve themselves in the open they risk harassment. Women are reluctant to talk about it or complain, but the world cannot continue to ignore this.”

“Adequate sanitation, coupled with access to clean, safe water to drink, transforms lives, improving health, safety and productivity. Governments are urged to take action and invest in access to sanitation and water.”

Other studies from Uganda and Kenya show that such experiences of fear, indignity and violence appear to be common in Africa wherever women lack access to safe and adequate sanitation.

Sandimhia Renato, 18, from Mozambique walks 15 minutes every day to defecate in the bush.
“Sometimes when I go I feel ashamed and go back without defecating. Sometimes I wait until dark to go there so no one can see me. I will be very concerned about Diani, my daughter, going to the bush because it is so far from here. At night it is very dangerous. People get killed. A woman and a boy were killed with knives. One woman I know of has been raped.”

Security came out as a recurring concern in the poll of women from slums in Lagos, with 67% of respondents saying they feel unsafe even using shared or community toilets in a public place.

Poor hygiene has serious implications on health. Every day, over 1,000 African mothers lose a child to diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of adequate sanitation and clean water.

Lack of decent sanitation also affects productivity and livelihoods. Women and girls living in sub-Saharan Africa without toilet facilities spend 20 billion hours each year finding a place to go in the open, according to figures released in a WaterAid briefing.

WaterAid logo

Barbara Frost continued:“This World Toilet Day, WaterAid is joining the call of hundreds of organisations around the world, for governments to keep the promises they have made to get adequate sanitation and safe water to the world’s poorest people”.

WaterAid has also released a new film showing what it would be like for women in the western world if they also lacked sanitation. The film can be viewed online at

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