Nigeria: reaching out to people in a language they understand

Date: 9th November 2010

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As a global language, English is useful, but to reach people locally, you have to speak with their tongue. For that reason, the National WASH Coalition in Nigeria, the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS), held a four-day advocacy materials translation workshop from 20 to 25 April in Jos, Nigeria, with WSSCC support.

The theme for the workshop was “Promotion of safe water, sanitation and hygiene”. According to National Coordinator Ifeomea Charles Monwuba, the workshop aimed to increase the knowledge of media personnel on basic sanitation and hygiene issues; to develop appropriate information, education communication materials for sanitation and hygiene promotion; and to translate key messages for sanitation and hygiene into four major Nigerian languages. Participants were drawn from the print, TV and radio professions, as well as from the NGO community. There were lectures, message development and translations, and pre-testing of designed materials.

As a follow-up to the International Year of Sanitation 2008, Nigeria has declared 2009 to be the National Year of Sanitation. According to Ms. Monwuba, awareness-building efforts will be enhanced now by the availability of sanitation and hygiene messages in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgen English developed at the workshop. The workshop included the participation of David Trouba, WSSCC Communications Programme Officer, who also met separately with members of the NTGS and the Nigeria Water and Sanitation Media Network and was briefed on plans for a post-AfricaSan follow-up meeting.

For more information, contact Ms. Monwuba at To learn more, visit Nigeria’s page on the WSSCC website.

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