‘2.3 million people gain access to safe water in Nigeria’
According to the Millennium Development Goal, the target of half the percentage of the global population without access to clean water was met in 2010.
But in the area of sanitation, nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide still do not have sufficient toilets and among them 1 billion defecate in the open. With some 70 million people without access to safe water and over 110 million people without access to improved sanitation, Nigeria is currently not on-track with regard to its attainment of Water and Sanitation targets.
UNICEF estimates that in Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water. For children, lack of access to safe water can be tragic. On average, nearly 1,000 of the children die globally every day from diarrheal diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene.
With these year’s theme on World Water Day, ‘Water and Sustainable Development,’ tells of the important role of water in our lives, be it for human consumption, food production, for health, for power generation, for industry and for the sustenance of nature as a whole, without which life would not exist.
Chief, Water and Sanitation, UNICEF, Kannan Nadar, emphasized on the need to look at the development of the water sector, reduce water wastage and prevent contamination of these increasingly scarce resources.
In his words: “ Everyone, be it the government, the civil society, international development partners and the citizens including children have a critical role to play in ensuring that water is sustainably used and is available for generations to come.”
He went on: “ UNICEF have been working with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as well as the state governments to promote use of sustainable approaches and technologies for water abstraction and use.
“ In the last two years nearly 2.5 million people gained access to safe water in rural areas through UNICEF support that also included funding from EU and UKAid. UNICEF-supported ‘WASH in Schools’ programming which has brought safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to thousands of school children in Nigeria,” Kannan said.