FG to invest N1.7trn on PEWASH in 15yrs

THE Federal Government (FG’s) Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme, will gulp over N1.7trillion in between 2016 to 2030.

This was stated in a programme strategy (2016-2030) issued by the Ministry of Water Resources at the unveiling of the National Water Policies and Launching of the PEWASH in Abuja on Monday.

According to the document, the total capital investment needed for achieving PEWASH was put at N510billon, out of which N290.5billion is billed for water supply and N219.1billion for public toilets.

It further placed the cost for household toilets at N855.5billion, which would be largely borne by the households, while the cost of operation and sustenance was estimated at N327.5billion.

Speaking at the event, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, explained that the programme was developed to address the challenges of water supply and sanitation, hence, prepare a platform towards achieving the Goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He stressed that Nigeria did not achieve the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water and sanitation due to lack of effective coordination among stakeholders and inability to harness required funds.

Osinbajo noted that with data on access to water supply and sanitation still at 69 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, there was more to be done.

His words:”this is still a far cry from what is needed. Indeed, with an ever increasing population and a drive to self-sufficiency in food production, the demand for water supply and sanitation services will continue to increase, thereby requiring an innovative and holistic approach towards closing the access gaps.”

He said the National Water Resources Policy and the National Irrigation Policy, which were recently approved by the Federal Executive Council ( FEC), will guide activities of all stakeholders in the sector.

“I have been informed that PEWASH will provide a new, collaborative and systematic approach to the achievement of an increased universal access to sustainable rural water supply and sanitation services involving all the relevant stakeholders from the beneficiary communities, local government areas, states governments, development partners, donor agencies, organised private sector and the Federal Government.

“Through this well structured framework for project delivery, it is expected that the implementation of PEWASH will help to attain our targets of increased rural water supply and sanitation, and improved public health as well as expected positive impact on economic growth and human development,” he said.

Earlier, the minister, Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu, stated that although, the total amount needed for the entire programme was indicated in the document, the sum may shoot up.

This, he attributed to the current economic situation and the fluctuation of foreign exchange.

However, he expressed hope that the implementation of the policies and PEWASH programme would eradicate existing uncoordinated efforts by stakeholders in the sector.

He further explained that the PEWASH is a 15 year programme divided into three phases.

The first phase, he said will cover a period 2016-2018 which is the preparation period, devoted to sustained advocacy, mobilisation and project takeoff.

Also, he said the second phase will span 2019 to 2025 with substantial increase in project delivery, while phase three will last from 2026 to 2030 which will consolidate programme implementation.