WaterAid Nigeria in collaboration with the European Union and other development partners such as Water Programme and HSBC has advocated for human Rights approach in addressing the trivialised issues in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in Nigeria.
WaterAid made this known in a three day workshop for the Civil Society organisations and the media partners which ended yesterday.
The workshop which had participants drawn from the six geo political zones in Nigeria took place in Abuja, FCT between 24 and 26th April, 2019.
Speaking at the workshop, Oluseyi Abdulmalik, Lead Communication Officer, WaterAid Nigeria, said the workshop was aimed at building the capacity of the Media and CSOs partners on human Right based approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene which includes principles of equity and inclusion.
“It is our belief that through this workshop, we would be able to deepen the understanding of our partners. Through this workshop they are empowered with the right information to be able to advocate and engage the government and duty bearers for better and improved WASH services without leaving no one behind” she said.
According to Alhassan Adams, Coordinator, End Water Poverty and top WaterAid UK Staff, who was also the leading facilitator at the event, “Our expectations for this human Rights to WASH workshop for the civil society organizations and media is that at the end of the day participants will be adequately informed in getting the government and state to stick to their obligations of providing Water and Sanitation to people”
“And by meeting the standards laid down by the human rights framework which says service should be affordable, accessible, acceptable and must be safe and the quality should be guaranteed”.
“Adams stressed that several case studies on WASH have revealed numerous anomalies in the North East where citizens have been denied the Rights to safe and clean water even in a situation where they never faulted in paying their taxes.
Speaking for the Women group and Persons with Disability at the workshop, Lois Auta, Founder of Cedar Seed and a participant said the workshop wouldn’t have come at a better time, she highlighted numerous challenges facing the persons with Disabilities in Nigeria. Some of which are unavailability and inaccessibility of WASH services by this group.
“There is need for proper inclusion for persons with disabilities as many are still being perceived as invalid hence providing WASH services to them by the government and States are never taken as priority”
Auta however attributed these challenges to lack of political will on the part of decision and policy makers.
“They are not prioritising efficient WASH services for women group as well as persons with disabilities.” she stated.
She noted that adopting human Rights based approach advocacy would help create a better platform to engage the policy makers and duty bearers towards making efficient and sustainable WASH services available and accessible to all citizens.