Improving the access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Niger
“We are so delighted with the new water tap in our health center. It makes a difference ensuring that our children are born in a clean and safe environment’’
Hadiza has been a midwife for the last 20 years in the village of Bamo, in the Maradi region. After years working in the same health facility, the first water connection has been installed in the medical centre where she has been working up to now.
“Water access ensures the cleanliness of the health facilities and improves the services for the patients. Before, peoplehad to bring the water directly to the center. Now we are better equipped and the number of consultations in the center has increased,” states Hadiza.
The water connection has been a turning point for Bamo’s medical centre. “I gave birth to my six children in this health center. My first five babies were born when there wasn’t even a water tap in the building. At that time, our family members had to fetch water in buckets near the village. Sometimes we had shortcuts. Finding water was a hard task. Three of my children were born meanwhile my husband with my mother together went to collect the water for the birth,’’ remembers Aicha, a mother from Bamo.
Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation remains very low in Niger. Only 46% of the population have access to basic water supply services. UNICEF with the support of the Department for International Development (DFID-UK) and the DGIS (Directorate-General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands) works to improve the access to safe water in Niger, essential to improve the lives of children.
“The water tap in the medical center was already installed when Omar, my last son, was born in November 2018. He was the first baby in the village who enjoyed clean water from the beginning. It helped during the birth,’’ says Aicha.
Since the implementation of the ASWA (Accelerating Sanitation and Water for All) project in 2018, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation had been improved in the most-at-risk geographic areas, reaching 751,000 people living in rural areas. Rural communities, schools and health facilities gained water access through the construction of multi-village piped systems.
The support from partners enables UNICEF to support the Government to update and strengthen the national water supply guide to improve the access to safe water in Niger.