AS Nigeria marks the Global Handwashing Day, WaterAid Nigeria has stated that the financing challenges plaguing Nigeria’s WASH sector and based on research and analysis, estimates the total cost of achieving SDG6 in Nigeria to be US$2.1 billion a year in capital, operations, and maintenance.
Speaking during a workshop to mark the occasion of the Global Hand Washing in Abuja on Thursday, the WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Evelyn Mere, said investing in soap and water is a clear ‘no regrets’ investment, in homes, health care facilities and in schools.
According to her, Covid recovery and the preparedness for future pandemics cannot happen without it, saying smart choices made by governments could play a vital role in ensuring a prosperous future, a healthier population, and a functioning society.
The Organisation also said just 10 days of smartphone sales would cover the $11billion cost of ensuring everyone in the poorest countries could wash their hands with soap and water at home by 2030, WaterAid.
A new report by WHO and UNICEF, released on Global Handwashing Day, reveals that giving everyone in the world’s poorest countries access to handwashing with soap and water, would cost around $11 billion. That would transform the life-chances of people who are currently unable to simply wash their hands at home.
Millions of lives could be saved and billions of dollars in untapped economic potential could be unlocked for the equivalent of just $1.40 per head of the global population, says WaterAid.
As G20 leaders prepare to gather in Rome to improve pandemic preparedness, WaterAid warns that government investment must be made to provide handwashing for all as it plays a critical role in the fight against preventable diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections.
According to latest estimates from WHO and UNICEF, three in 10 people worldwide cannot wash their hands with soap and water at home, and at current rates of progress, 1.9 billion people, families and children will still be unable to do by 2030.
WaterAid’s own recent analysis in its Mission Critical report, concluded that trillions of dollars could be unlocked over the next two decades through universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Achieving this could generate a net benefit of $45bn per year, and even just providing a tap in every household could yield $37bn USD annually.