FEMinWASH strengthens partnership for improved water, sanitation delivery in Nigeria

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By Tosin Kolade

The Network of Female Professionals in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (FEMinWASH) has reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing collaboration with stakeholders to improve access to potable water and sanitation services in Nigeria.

This commitment was emphasised by FEMinWASH President, Dr Bolu Onabolu, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON) in Abuja on Friday.

Onabolu noted that the partnership aims to build bridges and foster collaboration to advance sanitation and drinking water quality, while supporting the government’s water supply initiatives.

She described the MoU as an action-oriented agreement designed to transform the landscape of water and sanitation in Nigeria.

Onabolu also noted that the EHCON Registrar has mandated all female Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) to join FEMinWASH, with membership becoming a condition for license renewal.

This directive underscores the pivotal role of both male and female EHOs at the local government level in advancing sanitation efforts in Nigeria.

Addressing the issue of period poverty, Onabolu pointed out ongoing efforts to mitigate its negative impact on girls’ education.

She mentioned that FEMinWASH members are actively engaged in raising awareness and producing reusable sanitary pads to support women in need.

She emphasised that period poverty leads to significant educational disruptions for girls, which in turn affects their families and the country’s GDP.

“A lot of work is ongoing in terms of menstrual hygiene management and addressing period poverty.

“Studies show that girls who lack access to water and sanitation in schools miss days of education, which has immediate and long-term effects on their future and our economy.

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“This partnership with EHCON is a step towards changing the face of water and sanitation in Nigeria.”

Dr Yakubu Baba, Registrar and CEO of EHCON, hailed the collaboration as a new dawn for the health sector and a significant step towards changing the WASH narrative in Nigeria.

He stressed the importance of enforcement and inspection mechanisms to reduce disease prevalence in communities.

Baba stated, “We will emphasise accessible toilet availability in our enforcement and inspection efforts. Ensuring access to water and sanitation can displace up to 75 per cent of the diseases ravaging our communities.”

According to him, the partnership between FEMinWASH and EHCON is set to drive substantial improvements in water and sanitation services across Nigeria, benefiting communities and enhancing public health. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

Edited by Deji Abdulwahab

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