Find Water and Sanitation expertise in Nigeria

Nigeria has substantial fresh water resources. Each year more than 200 billion cubic metres of water are produced from the run-off of rivers, and large quantities of groundwater can be found in the Sokoto and the Chad sedimentary basins. However, water supply remains a significant problem in southern Nigeria as well as in the arid to semiarid north. Difficulties include the contaminating effects of industry and the problematic nature of both the electricity supply (which can interfere with the proper functioning of water works) and the sanitation infrastructure.

In 2004 about half of the population had access to safe drinking water, 40% in rural areas and 80% in urban areas. According to UNICEF, in 2008 about 58% of the rural population and 75% of the urban population had access to improved drinking water sources. Water is needed not only for domestic purposes such as drinking and washing, but for industry, environmental protection, agriculture and hydropower.

Nigerians derive their water from surface water, hand dug wells, rain harvesting, pipe borne water, boreholes, and vendors.  According to an independent study in 2009, approximately half of the population rely on shallow wells, which are vulnerable to contamination.

Nigeria has no central sewage collection and disposal system. Approximately 54.6% (75.9 million) of Nigerians use pit latrines, 13.71% use water closet, 0.58% (806, 200) use the bucket system, and 31.16% (43.3 million) Nigerians use other methods, such as disposal in surface water bodies.

The government is responsible for supplying water at the federal, state and local levels. There is some foreign investment in the sector but it falls short of delivering a significant increase in access. Between 2010 and 2011, water sanitation and hygiene facilities were commissioned by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) In Partnership with the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) to address the lack of services in Bauchi state. The project included the construction rehabilitation of 49 boreholes and water systems, 100 ventilated improved pit latrines and 13 hand washing stations, as well as training sessions on hygiene and sanitation in communities, schools and health centres across Bauchi, Alkaleri and Ningi. Water, Environment and Sanitation Committees (WASHCOMs) were established throughout communities to encourage partnerships among institutions in the water sector.

In urban and semi-urban areas private septic and soak away pits are used for excreta and sewage disposal. Private contractors can be hired to dispose of the excreta-sewage. In rural areas, amongst those who have pit toilets, (about half of the entire rural population), the majority use unlined toilet pits with no provision for waste water.

Water and Sanitation organisations in Nigeria
AB Waters
Bauchi State Water Board
Enugu State Water Corporation
Gombe State Water Board
Jigawa State Water Board
Kebbi State Water Board
Kogi State Water Board
Kwara State Water Board
Niger State Water Board
Ogun State Water Corporation
Plateau State Water Board
Water Corporation of Oyo State