Lack of WASH Facilities in Nigeria Costs $4.5 Billion Causing Preventable Infections and Deaths

Nigeria's WASH crisis costs $4.5B in 2022, putting women's health at risk. Urgent action needed to improve access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.

Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
New Update
Lack of WASH Facilities in Nigeria Costs $4.5 Billion in 2022, Causing Preventable Infections and Deaths

Lack of WASH Facilities in Nigeria Costs $4.5 Billion in 2022, Causing Preventable Infections and Deaths

Nigeria is facing a severe crisis due to the lack of access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities, which cost the country $4.5 billion in 2022 alone. The absence of these essential amenities has led to preventable infections and deaths in healthcare facilities across the nation, according to a report by WaterAid.

The story of 17-year-old Faith highlights the dire situation. Due to economic hardship and the high cost of sanitary pads, Faith has been forced to use old pieces of fabric instead. This practice puts her at risk of reproductive and urinary tract infections, as well as negatively impacting her education.

Why this matters: The lack of WASH facilities in Nigeria not only has severe health consequences but also hinders the country's economic and social development. Addressing this crisis is essential for ensuring the well-being of the population and promoting sustainable growth.

The psychological and physical health risks associated with poor menstrual hygiene are significant. Women and girls who lack access to proper sanitary products and clean water are more susceptible to infections and other health complications. Moreover, the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation can lead to missed school days and limited opportunities for girls like Faith.

The WaterAid report emphasizes the urgent need for improved access to WASH facilities in Nigeria. Investing in infrastructure, education, and awareness campaigns can help mitigate the health risks and economic burden caused by the lack of these essential amenities.

In a statement, a WaterAid spokesperson said, "The situation in Nigeria is a sobering reminder of the importance of WASH facilities. We must work together to ensure that everyone, especially women and girls, has access to clean water, proper sanitation, and hygiene products. It is a fundamental human right and a critical step towards building a healthier, more equitable society."

The Nigerian government has acknowledged the severity of the issue and has pledged to prioritize investments in WASH infrastructure. However, experts warn that without sustained efforts and collaboration between the government, NGOs, and local communities, the crisis will continue to take a heavy toll on the nation's health and economy.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigeria faces a WASH crisis costing $4.5B in 2022, leading to preventable infections.
  • Lack of WASH facilities impacts health, education, and economic development of Nigerians.
  • Poor menstrual hygiene causes health risks and social stigma for women and girls.
  • Urgent need for improved WASH infrastructure, education, and awareness in Nigeria.
  • Nigerian govt. pledges action, but sustained efforts are required to address the crisis.