The Federal Government has reiterated the critical need for collaborative efforts and funding for the Sustainable Urban and Rural Hygiene (SURWASH) Programme among States to advance the objectives of the National Action Plan for the revitalization of the Country’s WASH Sector.
Engr. Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, FNSE, FNICE, FNIWE, the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, made this appeal during the 3rd Federal Steering Committee (FSC) meeting of the Nigeria – Sustainable Urban and Rural Hygiene (SURWASH) Programme held in Abuja on Thursday, February 1st, 2024.
During the meeting, Engr. Prof. Utsev highlighted that the main focus of the 3rd FSC meeting was to undertake a critical review with a view to inject new ideas into the programme and approve the 2024 Work Plan for implementation.
He emphasized the crucial role of States in driving the programme by providing adequate funding and strengthening Water Institutions at the state level so as to leverage on the opportunities the SURWASH programme presents.
The Minister stressed the importance of increased funding to accomplish the activities outlined in the work plan and encouraged the scaling up of activities to improve disbursements by the end of 2024 Programme year, ultimately enhancing the programme’s rating.
He also stressed the significance of collaborative efforts between the Federal Government and the States to address the challenges facing the WASH sector and to ensure sustainable access to Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Services across the country.
Prof Utsev recalled that the SURWASH Programme, which is supported through the World Bank, serves as a strategic vehicle for actualizing the National Action Plan which emphasizes key areas such as governance, sustainability, Sanitation, funding and financing, and monitoring and evaluation, while also serving as Government’s strategy and vehicle for investment and Sector Reforms.
The Honourable Minister further highlighted the importance of proactive engagement and commitment from all stakeholders and emphasized that the SURWASH Programme was designed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation in partnership with the World Bank, to support the implementation of the National WASH Action Plan (NAP) launched in November 2018.
He added that the improved funding by the States will enable the Stakeholders to achieve the activities that have been lined up for implementation in the year 2024 work plan, stating that there is need for participating States to be proactive and committed to the goals of the programme.
The Director of Water Supply and Support Services at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation (Secretary of the Federal Steering Committee of the SURWASH), Dr. Dumebi Madu, FNSE, welcomed members to the meeting and appealed for open and robust deliberations to facilitate impactful resolutions.
A comprehensive breakdown of the Work Plan for each of the States and the FPIU was presented to the Federal steering committee during the meeting. The SURWASH Workplan for 2024 was reviewed, considered and approved for implementation.
Present at the meeting were representatives from the Honourable Ministers of Finance, Education, Health, and Women Affairs, as well as Honourable Commissioners from Ekiti, Delta, Plateau, Katsina, Gombe, and Imo States, the latter being represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Imo State Ministry of Water Resources.
Additionally, attendees included the representative of the World Bank, and various other stakeholders.