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ERA/FoEN seeks emergency in water sector

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The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has advised government at all levels to declare emergency in the water sector to check public health emergencies.

In a statement by ERA/FoEN Head, Media and Campaigns, Philip Jakpor, the group said that although the United Nations World Water Day (WWD) 2020 has the theme: ‘Water and Climate Change’, the urgency of checking the spread of Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the importance of hand-washing to the fore and placed availability of clean and potable water at the core of the campaign to check its spread.

ERA/FoEN said that it was shocking how the federal and state governments are re-echoing the hand-washing message when they have actually failed to make that same public good available for citizens.

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Its Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “As Nigeria’s Covid-19 confirmed cases continue to grow, this year’s WWD is a wake-up call to government at all levels paying lip-service to the water sector to work the talk.

“We are being told to wash our hands with water and soap when the taps in our communities are all dry. Most of our communities lack water for consumption and for basic hygiene and this makes checking public health emergencies much more difficult.

“It is unfortunate that a city like Lagos with a population of nearly 21 million people, rather than making substantial investment in the water sector, is eyeing the failed Public Private Partnership (PPP) model promoted by the World Bank.”

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