WaterAid Receives $6.3 Million From Gates Foundation

New York City-based WaterAid has announced a four-year, $6.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of efforts to improve sanitation in West Africa.

The grant will support a project that seeks to boost the number of open-defecation-free communities across three Nigerian states and provide affordable and sustainable sanitation services to thousands of people in the region. The project will build on WaterAid's seventeen years of experience working in Nigeria, where it has helped to deploy the community-led total sanitation approach that mobilizes communities to eliminate open defecation.

Every day, some two thousand children around the world die from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. The lack of clean water, hygiene, and sanitation also has exacted a heavy toll on economic growth in developing nations, costing countries in sub-Saharan Africa more in lost GDP than the entire continent receives in development aid.

"The Gates Foundation has once again invested in improving the lives of millions of the world's poorest people," said WaterAid CEO David Winder. "We are thrilled that they have decided to support our work in Nigeria."