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By Charles Dickson
WSSCC has appointed Jeiyol as National Coordinator for Nigeria. In this role, Ms Jeiyol will represent the Council and coordinate its strategic engagements and interventions with a wide range of partners in the West African country.
Ms Jeiyol is the Executive Director of the Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative (GERI) and a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the Benue State University in Makurdi. She reiterates that, as a geography lecturer, researcher and environmental activist, she focuses her research on the intersection of people, the environment and development.
“That is when the importance of water to human life and well-being really struck me and I decided to get involved with WASH,” says Ms Jeiyol, who has worked as a development, gender and social inclusion expert with a focus on the WASH sector over the years.
As a member of the WSSCC Nigeria, Ms Jeiyol has served in leadership positions in the WASH sector and WASH-focused organizations. GERI, for example, was one of 12 NGOs in Benue State chosen in 2016 to undertake Community-Led Total Sanitation in the WSSCC-funded programme known as the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Programme in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) in an effort to make entire communities and Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Cross River and Benue States open defecation free.
“I feel I can bring these experiences to support and influence the direction of the WASH sector in Nigeria and perhaps beyond,” says Ms Jeiyol. “I have seen the difference first-hand that a well-designed WSSCC-supported programme can make to rural development in Benue State.”
The appointment comes at a time when Nigeria is stepping up its investments in the WASH sector in its drive to end open defecation by 2025. Under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, “the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” will be launched later this year to mobilize high-level political support, resources and partners at a larger scale toward building a new culture of sanitation.
“Nigeria is a huge country with a lot of potential, where we need to enhance synergy among the players,” says Ms Jeiyol. “WSSCC can play an important role as a convener and driver of effectiveness and efficiency in the sector.”
“As National Coordinator, I will contribute my very best in ensuring that access to safe sanitation and hygiene leaves no one behind,” she says.
WSSCC will provide extensive support for the government-led “Clean Nigeria Campaign” through its longstanding partners such as United Purpose, the executive agency of the RUSHPIN programme.