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


In Niger, water-related diseases and poor hygiene and sanitation practices are one of the leading causes of death among children under five. Access to drinking water and sanitation is still very low in Niger with large disparities between urban and rural areas and between regions.Only 56% of the population has access to a source of drinking water with a 7% increase in the supply of services between 2012 and 2015. Only 13% of the population has access to basic sanitation services. Open defecation is practiced by more than 71% of the population with serious consequences on health, nutrition, education or economic development. Only 22.7% of schools have access to drinking water and 26.7% access to sanitation facilities. In addition, school-age girls do not have adequate menstrual hygiene management services.


UNICEF supports the Government of Niger and partners in the development and operationalization of sectoral policies and strategies for improving people’s access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. UNICEF is actively involved in the political dialogue and the coordination of the sector as well as the consultation between Government and Partners.

UNICEF provides technical and financial support for improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation services and supports activities promoting good hygiene practices, especially for the most vulnerable populations and those affected by the crises, and contributing to the implementation of the National WASH programme (PROSEHA 2016-2030).

UNICEF is committed to promoting change of social norms, individual and community behaviors to commit to ending open defecation and to maintaining good hygiene and sanitation practices.

UNICEF supports the municipalities in the exercise of transfert of competencies in the WASH sector, through the strengthening of municipal capacities in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and accountability for enhancing development and sustainable access to water and sanitation services.

To this end, UNICEF is currently modelling a municipal-wide WASH approach in 14 municipalities in the regions of Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder aiming to:

• Support the achievement of open defecation free municipalities.

• Build the capacity of municipalities, user associations, and private operators to effectively manage water supply networks and generate more resources for the sector.

• Strengthen the delegated-management of small scale water pipe systems through public-private partnerships

• Promote real-time monitoring of the functionality of water points and the end-of open defecation status.

UNICEF supports the implementation of WASH-resilient systems by strengthening the capacity of municipalities and communities to integrate climate risks into water and sanitation interventions.

As the lead agency of the WASH Cluster, UNICEF supports the Government and partners in coordinating emergency preparedness and response. UNICEF works to effectively respond to the needs of those affected by floods, epidemics including cholera and nutrition crisis, with an emphasis on the nexus Humanitarian - Development.


Available publications, surveys, reports will be added in this section