- Five Nigerian startups have been awarded N17.5 million to develop their ideas on Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH).
- The startups emerged out of 80 that were shortlisted for boot camp.
- The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the innovations showcased by the startups raised hope for job creation in the WASH sector.
Five Nigerian startups have been awarded the sum of N17.5 million for creating innovative solutions to address Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) challenges in Nigeria.
The five startups are SCHRODINgER, Tech Retreasure, Junkyard, Green Cycle, and SPARKLING Light. Each of them received N3.5 million and a 4-month mentorship programme during the WASH Hackathon Innovation Fair 2.0 which was held in Lagos.
Showcasing innovative ideas
Presenting a keynote at the event, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, said that the WASH challenge provides an excellent platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas.
- ‘’It is my hope that these ideas, and initiatives bring them to fruition so that the startups can contribute to plug into identified gaps for more effective intervention in the sector.
- ‘’The theme for this year’s fair, innovation for sustainable growth in the sector is timely, I mean against the backdrop of certain concerns about the shortfalls in the issue to access to safe water. It is also an important condition and a critical role in the development of the nation’s economy,’’ he said.
According to him, WASH is a critical component of the nation’s economy and it is essential to exploit globally available opportunities for the resolution of the challenges of the sector. He said that the space undeniably offers immense opportunities for investment, job creation, and poverty reduction.
The Minister expressed the hope that the solutions developed by the startups would help strengthen the national action plan for WASH and will complement other national initiatives such as preparedness to expand the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene which was launched in 2016.
Ending open defecation in Nigeria
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Corporate Service Officer of IHS Nigeria, Dapo Otunla, said that the organization was committed to ending open defecation by 2025. Otunla said that 3000 books on open defecation have been donated to communities across Nigeria while 13 mechanized solar boreholes have been installed across communities.
According to him, about 138 communities have been impacted and over 18000 lives touched all in the effort to achieve the objectives of the WASH initiative.
Chief WASH Unicef Nigeria Dr Jane Beva in her technical presentation highlighted the challenges of the WASH initiative. Beva highlighted Climate change, water, land, and air pollution due to poor household and industrial waste management among others.
What you should know
The 2023 WASH Innovation Challenge and Incubation Programme aims to support Innovators and early-stage ventures in WASH by providing ideas, and evaluation funding among others.
According to the organisers of the challenge, about 118 applications were received out of which 80 startups were shortlisted for a boot camp and 20 got to the finals where the five winners emerged.
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