As a part of the efforts to salvage the Water Sanitation and Hygiene sector in Nigeria, Federal Government has announced the introduction of National Water Sanitation and Hygiene Research Programmes in selected Universities in Nigeria with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Honorable Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu made this announcement at a National workshop for major stakeholders in WASH sector in Nigeria.
According to him, “These selected universities would be saddled with responsibilities to run Masters in Science (M.sc) programmes in studying and researching National WASH issues with the aim to bridge the knowledge gap thereby proffering lasting solutions to the current challenges within the WASH Sector in Nigeria”
“The M.Sc programme will be run in affiliation with UNESCO IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.”
Minister in his words: “The Federal Government of Nigeria is resolved and committed to vigorously pursuing the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 and ensuring that we “leave no one behind” in implementation of the National Action Plan. We are aware that time is of the essence to achieve this goal and as such, our actions need to be immediate and deliberate. Together, I believe we can create a synergy that will transform Nigeria’s water, sanitation and hygiene sector.”
Speaking at the workshop, WaterAid Nigeria’s Country Director, Evelyn Mere, said “without adequate capacity and good quality research to continually generate learning and knowledge in the sector, the ambitious agenda of ending open defecation and realising sanitation access for all in Nigeria will remain unattainable.”
It would be recalled that, in December 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari had declared Nigerian WASH sector “A State of Emergency” following series of global reports ranking Nigeria amongst the countries with the worst Open defecation and poor sanitation cases.