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‘Two-third of world’s population may face water crisis by 2050’

By Ameh Ochojila (Abuja) and Adedamola Saka (Lagos)
24 March 2023   |   4:03 am
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has raised the alarm that two-thirds of the world’s population could face water shortages by 2050.


• FG says water demand to exceed 40%
• Stakeholders call for access to potable water

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has raised the alarm that two-thirds of the world’s population could face water shortages by 2050.

According to the United Nations (UN) agency, global water availability and quality are deteriorating, calling for immediate action to avert disaster.

FAO Representative in Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, at a press briefing to mark the World Water Day (WWD) in Abuja, said over 700 million people face high and critical water stress and that over 90 per cent of natural disasters are water-related.

His words: “The situation is worsening. Global water availability and quality are deteriorating. Climate change is intensifying. Competition between sectors and countries is increasing. By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population could face water shortages.”

Agriculture accounts for 72 per cent of freshwater withdrawals, but FAO said, on trends, an additional 35 per cent in water resources will be needed by 2050 to meet growing demand for food, fibre and feed.

THE Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, said the demand for water would exceed 40 per cent by end of the decade.

Speaking through a representative, she said: “Drop by drop, this precious lifeblood is being poisoned by pollution, with water demand expected to exceed supply by 40 per cent by decade end.”

The objective of the global event, she noted, was to galvanise action towards active response to water crisis and seek out a way to improve access to potable water supply while achieving the target set out in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – “water and sanitation for all by the year 2020.”

On her part, Chief WASH Nigeria, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Jane Bevan, said an estimated 78 million children in Nigeria were suffering from poor water access at the moment.

“At least, a third of all of the children in Nigeria do not have access to water at home and do not have access to basic sanitation. So we need to do more, not less, than the children of Nigeria. We owe it to them to really come together, invest more in water and do our best to reach everybody,” she said.

STAKEHOLDERS have called on the Federal Government to ensure ease of accessing clean water for consumption.

They made the call at the CWAY Group Office, Lagos, as part of its commitment to promote and provide sustainable clean water for the use of mankind.

CWAY Group, manufacturer and distributor of CWAY bottled water, celebrated this year’s World Water Day (WWD), with the theme ‘Be the Change’ by hosting a leadership event.

Sales Director of CWAY Nigeria, Sulayman Abiodun, talked about how water is generally accepted universally but turns out to be the most abused and mismanaged resource on earth.

The keynote speaker at the occasion, an environmentalist and marine scientist from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Roland Uwadiae, emphasised the importance of water to mankind and the ecosystem in general. He thanked the organisers of the event for a job well done.