Improving Living Conditions in Nigeria
Nigeria is a sub-Saharan African country bordering Niger to the North and Cameroon to the South. Although living conditions in Nigeria have seen a positive change in recent years, a large amount of its population still lacks access to everyday living needs such as clean water, healthcare and education.
Construction of Waterpumps and Sanitary Spaces
Despite water accessibility having improved immensely in Nigeria in the past few years, a significant portion of the country’s population still lives without access to clean water and sanitary spaces. WaterAid statistics report that 46 million Nigerians do not have access to clean water while 116 million people in the country are without access to decent toilets. To address this issue, WaterAid constructed clean toilets for approximately 300,000 Nigerians living in poverty. This effort resulted in toilet accessibility in Nigerian homes and schools.
WaterAid has also taken steps to support women and girls in Nigeria. By building a new hand pump in the village of Orwua Nyam, girls can now safely access clean water without having to go to neighboring communities. It also supported every house in receiving a toilet in their home and an additional toilet in the village for visitors. This has helped to reduce the spread of diseases in the village and allowed families to live in clean and healthy conditions.
Aiding Internally Displaced Children
Widespread poverty, political unrest and an unstable economy leave many Nigerians without shelter. The charitable work of SOS Children’s Villages supported more than 15,000 people in 2015. The organization’s support includes providing homeless children with a safe and supportive home alongside other needs such as counseling, medical support and access to education facilities. SOS Children’s Villages also helps to reunite internally displaced children with their siblings, enabling them to experience growing up among family. SOS Children’s Villages’ efforts in Nigeria not only provide safe and fulfilling childhoods for children but also aims to improve overall living conditions in the country.
Nigeria experiences some of the highest school absence rates in the world. UNICEF reports that one in every five children who do not attend school is in Nigeria. Approximately 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years old do not attend school. According to UNICEF, gender marginalization is still a significant issue in the country, with more than half of the girls not receiving an education. In a bid to improve the educational system and achieve SDG 4 by 2030, UNICEF has developed a plan to eliminate societal barriers that hinder children’s access to education. Its goal is to provide humanitarian assistance to children who are least likely to receive an education, enabling them to access a safe school environment.
As is the case with many impoverished African countries, Nigeria suffers from high rates of HIV. Nigeria accounts for 9% of the world’s total HIV cases and has the second-highest number of people living with the illness in the world. The U.S. government assists Nigeria through the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which provides life-saving HIV therapy to more than 600, 000 Nigerians living with the disease. The emergency plan also provides support programs for one million children who have been affected by HIV.
Since January 2020, Nigeria has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with World Health Organization (WHO) statistics showing more than 260,000 cases of the virus and 3,155 fatalities as of April 2023.
To combat the spread of the virus, WaterAid has prioritized education as a key defense. The organization has used radio jingles on Nigerian channels to spread information on COVID-19. These jingles had a minimum estimated reach of over 800,000 people per radio broadcast, making them an effective way to spread updates on how to limit the spread of the virus.
With aid from charitable projects, living conditions in Nigeria have seen dramatic improvements in the past few years. Through efforts in education and healthcare, these organizations aim to help in creating a future where Nigerians can enjoy better living conditions.
– Freddie Trevanion