Nigeria – WASH project Puts More Power in Women’s Hands

 WOFAN and USAID –support women in Northern Nigeria in addressing water ,sanitation and hygiene(WASH) related challenges in their communities. 

 But in addition to increasing access, the WASH project is increasing the participation of women in water and sanitation activities. Women are not just included in planning or meetings, they are encouraged to learn how to service and repair hand pumps so that they no longer have to wait on men to have pumps repaired. They were also empowered to construct concrete slabs for toilet upgrades.

At the beginning of the WASH project in Bauchi and Sokoto states, women were trained along with their male counterparts on the servicing and maintenance of hand pumps as well as construction of concrete slabs.
Then, towards the end of the first phase of the program in the state, more women were trained on hand pump repairs. And, the women displayed their mastery of hand pump repairs at this year’s International Women’s Day by connecting the hand pump in Shehu Malami Model Primary School and commissioning it for use.
With women becoming able to carry out simple maintenance and repair routines, the hand pumps are expected to receive better care. And, access to safe drinking water will be guaranteed.
And, now that women can construct concrete slabs, they can upgrade household latrines with little support from their husbands.

Women are seen in the first picture, constructing concrete slabs at a training organized by WOFAN and USAID in Bauchi State while in the second picture, women are connecting the hand pump installed at Shehu Malami Model Primary School in Kware LGA of Sokoto State after receiving training through the WASH project. Now that they have been empowered to service and maintain hand pumps, they can upgrade pit latrines and take care of the pumps without waiting on men.