Life-Saving Water for Nigeria's Pupils
Access to clean water and sanitation facilities is a great challenge to Nigerians. Hygiene education and best practices are rarer where there is less water due to climate or topography. In rural northern Nigeria for example, only about 30 percent of the population have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities. This results in a high prevalence of waterborne diseases which threatens the health of the people, who are mainly subsistence farmers. Lack of clean water also contributes to low school enrollment, especially for girls.
USAID is overcoming these challenges by mobilizing community leaders and parents-teachers associations; assisting them to build, operate and maintain borehole hand pumps, toilet and urinal blocks, hand washing stations and rain water catchment systems. Also, USAID is working with these communities to implement hygiene programs using health clubs to teach healthy practices, thus reducing the incidence of diseases, especially among school children.