UN postpones world water day as Nigeria embarks on awareness walk
The United Nations (UN) Water has postponed events marking this year’s World Water Day (WWD) due to Coronavirus pandemic as it continues to spread to several countries globally.
In a communiqué yesterday, UN Water, the global body responsible for the annual gathering, said the WWD would be celebrated, but not in the usual face-to-face tradition.
“The WWD will take place under unprecedented circumstances. Usually, March 22 every year is a time to meet face-to-face and discuss how to tackle water and sanitation challenges, but with the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us have to change plans.
“As we mark the WWD, we urge that focus should be on responsibility, safety and solidarity as everyone has a role to play,” the communiqué reads.
However, the Federal Government at the weekend held an awareness walk to mark the WWD in Abuja. Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Comfort Ekaro led the rally in selected locations in the central area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja
Meanwhile, following the number of confirmed cases in Lagos and Ekiti states, the Consumer Advocacy for Food Safety and Nutrition (CAFSANI) has said Covid-19 may spread faster across the country due to the unhygienic way of handling foods and their preparation, especially in areas that lack potable water.
In a statement, its Executive Director, Professor Olugbenga Ben Ogunmoyela of Bells University of Technology, Ota, noted that there were several areas in the country where human excreta was still being mixed with sand for fertilising fruits and vegetables.
“It is, therefore, important that there should be a public outcry against such practices in our communities this season to avoid spreading the virus.
“Although the effects of spreading the infection through such excreta collected from persons with respiratory illness has neither been reported nor investigated, there is the need to examine our exposure to risk from foods.
“Most unsuspecting consumers in urban and rural areas patronise vendors of fruits and vegetables on the streets, which are consumed without cooking, but in the absence of direct contact with infected persons, we should salvage the situation by cooking our foods with a high degree of heat, to the extent that viruses don’t survive,” he added.