Nigeria not achieving SDG Goal on clean water by 2030 — Mere
• As LASG, WaterAid Nigeria Sign MoU To Regulate Water Sector
Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, Evelyn Mere has said Nigeria is off-track and not achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.0 on clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.
She said with the challenge posed by climate change, the task has become even more daunting, as the emphasis on water quality and the crucial role of regulation has become even more relevant and inevitable.
She disclosed this at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between WaterAid Nigeria and the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) to improve its capacity to effectively regulate the water sector in the state.
The move, she said, would contribute to delivering the objectives of National Action Plan for the revitalisation of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in the state.
She said the process would involve the conduct of several organisations and sectoral assessments and studies that would generate the data needed to inform interventions that would enhance LSWRC’s operations, management and effective functioning.
She maintained that such partnership was timely and necessary to generate needed momentum in fulfilling its mandate to the people.
Mere urged stakeholders in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector and government parastatals to continue to prioritise access to WASH and increase investment in the sector to cater to residents’ needs.
She urged that the allocated funds be used effectively to strengthen WASH access for better health, socio-economic, gender and education outcomes, thereby contributing to ending poverty, inequality and ensuring adequate pandemic preparedness.
“Together, we are set to make a big difference through our collective efforts in changing people’s lives for good, by providing access to sustained water supply to the good people of Lagos State,” she said.
WaterAid Global Director, Rob Fuller, said Lagos State and indeed Nigeria, needed safe water for all, with independent professionals as regulators.
He said this would call for transparency in decision-making processes.
Executive Secretary, LSWRC, Funke Adepoju, said for the collaboration to enhance ability to function as a regulatory body and improve performance, the need to strengthen institutional capacity and regulatory framework benchmarking against international best practices was critical.
In his address, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, emphasised the need to strengthen regulatory commission, noting that water and waste were already mixing together, thereby discouraging investors.