Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Without the basic needs of clean water, toilets and good hygiene, the lives of children are at risk

UNICEF Niger/Dicko


Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. Without these basic needs, the lives of millions of children are at risk. For children under five, water- and sanitation-related diseases are one of the leading causes of death in Niger.

Access to improved water services increased by 7 per cent between 2012 and 2015, when 56 per cent of the population used an improved water source for drinking.

Access to improved sanitation increased by only 2 per cent in the same period; only 13 per cent of the population has access to basic sanitation services and open defecation is practised by 71 per cent of the population.

There are wide disparities between urban and rural areas in access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH).

School-age girls lack adequate menstrual hygiene management services.


In Niger, UNICEF promotes access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, especially for the most vulnerable people, and those affected by crises.

We support the operationalization and financing of the water and sanitation development plan and strengthen municipal capacities to implement decentralized governance of water services.

We work with the Government to change social norms and behaviours of individuals and communities, so they take responsibility for ending open defecation and maintaining good hygiene and sanitation practices.

We also aim to strengthen capacities of municipalities, users’ associations and private operators to effectively manage piped systems and generate increased resources for the sector.

We support the scaling-up of delegated management of water systems through public-private partnerships and promote real-time monitoring of the functionality of the water points.

We support adaptive and resilient WASH systems by strengthening the capacities of municipalities and communities to integrate climate risks into water and sanitation interventions.


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