The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have entered into a five-year agreement to support a rural water and sanitation project in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria.
The EU and UNICEF will jointly provide EUR20.6m ($28m) to improve and encourage the project work, as well as increase accessibility to the basic services in five Niger Delta Region states, namely Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa.
UNICEF water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialist Bishnu Timilsina in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) mentioned about the support at the two-day workshop on rural water supply and sanitation component of the Niger Delta support programme (NDSP).
"This project will support the state governments and the rural water sanitation institutions in five Niger Delta states to develop and implement needed reforms in the sector," Timilsina added.
"It will also deliver sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene services within communities and schools."
The workshop will help the state governments to understand in brief the objectives of the project, its results, and the implementation modalities, under the rural components of the NDSP.
The water and sanitation project in the region is expected to contribute in conflict mitigation, by increasing accessibility to the basic social services, according to NAN.
NDSP's pilot programme for the rural water supply and sanitation component will be implemented in two local government areas (LGAs) in each of the five participating states.
The roles and responsibilities of partners under the programme will be attributed, as well as the cost sharing arrangements and coordination will also be worked out.
LGAs, communities and the states that will be befitted from the programme, will contribute to the programme in the form of counterpart funding and the contributions will be deposited in the states' project accounts before tenders are launched.
Image: Five states of Niger Delta Region to be benefitted from the EU and UNICEF's five-year contribution agreement. Photo: Courtesy of Gozar.