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28,000 communities in 70 LGAs in six States to become Open Defecation Free

Abuja- June 28, 2014- As Nigeria commemorates its National Environmental Sanitation Day today, six states in Nigeria - Katsina, Bauchi, Benue, Jigawa, Kaduna and Zamfara have embarked on “Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN)” project – Phase2 aimed at getting about 28,000 communities in Nigeria Open Defecation free by end of 2018.

Honorable Commissioners of State Water Resources & other state Ministries present at the SHAWN-II national sensitization meeting organized by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and UNICEF in Abuja recently have agreed to adopt and make one local government area each in their states open defecation free by March 2015. This year’s theme “My environment, my health” is apt to the SHAWN-II project as the focus of the project is to empower communities to eliminate open defecation in their midst and enables citizens to be in charge of their sanitation situation, overall environment and thereby their health.

SHAWN-II to be funded significantly by UKAid, Government and UNICEF intends to reach seven million people with access to basic sanitation, water supply and hygiene awareness in six states, namely Bauchi, Benue, Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna and Zamfara by November 2018.

The Honorable Commissioners of states attending the meeting committed to allocate a total of Naira 420 million as part of the initial counterpart contribution towards realizing SHAWN-II project goals.

The project builds on the success of the previous phase and aims to maximize the impact of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene interventions by linking it with other sectoral interventions (Health, Nutrition, and Education).

‘The SHAWN-II project presents Nigeria an enormous opportunity towards realizing Nigeria’s goal of an Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025 as declared by the Honorable Minister of Water Resources recently. This is also an opportunity to work closely with other sectors (Health, nutrition & education), partners and to go well beyond the project targets to maximize the reach and impact of the project, especially on under-5 children in the country”, said Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. The UNICEF Representative also commended the contributions of EU to the WASH sector in Nigeria.

For further information please contact:
Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Nigeria, Tel: 08035250288, gnjoku@unicef.org
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
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