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Coronavirus - Niger: Improving access to sustainable water, hygiene and sanitation services in Niger

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UNICEF has handed over four (4) new vehicles and 362 hand washing devices to the Niger’s Ministry of Water and Sanitation to accelerate the implementation of the "Accelerated Sanitation and Water for All (ASWA 2)" Programme and support the Government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"UNICEF is supporting the Government to improve access to sustainable water, hygiene and sanitation infrastructure and services " said Dr. Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger. "This equipment is intended to strengthen the logistical capacities of the regional offices of Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder for a more increased and efficient monitoring and coordination of the ASWA 2 Programme and the implementation of the municipal-wide Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) approach in the country"

The municipal-wide WASH approach aims to strengthen the management and the supply of water, hygiene and sanitation services at municipality level and accelerate action to end open defecation in the country. Since 2019, five additional municipalities in the regions of Maradi and Tahoua have ended open defecation, allowing more than 734,000 people to live in a healthy environment.

However, less than a year from the end of the first phase of the Water, Hygiene and Sanitation National Program (PROSEHA 2016 - 2030), the access rates to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation are still low in the country. According to the latest statistics, nearly 68% of Nigerien populations still practice open defecation, due to a lack of sanitation facilities and/or the persistence of poor hygiene and sanitation practices.

"We are deeply grateful for the continued support provided by the Governments of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, through the ASWA 2 Programme, which has enabled us to further expand the implementation of the municipal-wide WASH approach in the country" she said.

UNICEF took this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to support the Government in achieving the objectives of the PROSEHA, in addition to its support to the common funding mechanism and the response to emergencies.

As part of the Covid-19 response, additional 362 multi-user hand washing devices were given to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation. These devices are intended for 54 health facilities, 71 public places and 85 schools in the city of Niamey.

Since the start of the pandemic, UNICEF is strengthening drinking water storage capacities, access to sanitation infrastructure and hygiene supplies in isolation and treatment centers and distributing hand washing devices and soap to health facilities, administrations, public places and schools.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).