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57 million Nigerians suffering from adequate water supply— UNICEF



57 million Nigerians suffering from adequate water supply--- UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that 57 million Nigerians do not have access to safe water supply and that 15 million people in the country still drink water from rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and irrigation canals.

This was disclosed by UNICEF specialist on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Mr Moustapha Niang at European Union-UNICEF WASH media dialogue in Uyo in Akwa-Ibom state.

Moustapha said 45,000 children under the age of five die annually from diseases caused by poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

He expressed worry over prevalence of open defecation in Nigeria to the extent that 46 million people in the country still practice Open Defecation.

He added that out of the 46 million Nigerians that practice Open Defecation, 33 million live in rural areas and that 130 million Nigerians are using unimproved sanitation facilities in which more than half of those affected are rural dwellers.

Moustapha noted that in the North-East, only 23 percent and 9 percent of Internally Displaced People (IDP) have access to water and sanitation respectively and that 75 percent of WASH infrastructure destroyed in affected Local Government Areas.

He warned that Nigeria is unlikely to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-6) targets unless necessary steps are taking to address issues of water, sanitation and hygiene and called on government and all stakeholders to do the needful to rescue the situation.

He explained that UNICEF is currently piloting sanitation financing in 3 States currently and that 90 Sanitation Entrepreneurs (Toilet Business Owners-TBOs) have been identified, trained and are now providing improved sanitation services to communities and households.

57 million Nigerians suffering from adequate water supply--- UNICEF

He added that Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have signed Memorandum of Understanding with 42 micro finance institutions to provide one-digit interest loans to households to support sanitation facilities upgrade.

He noted that the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) strategy that was launched by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the launching of the National Open Defecation Free (PDF) Road Map were among the key results of institutional efforts to promote sanitation and hygiene.

His words “Our priority in 2018 will include giving support to the roll-out of the PEWASH Strategy and the ODF Road Map and to operationalize the implementation of the ODF Road map through launching of National Campaign on Eradication of Open Defecation in Nigeria.”

“We will harness the private sector’s entrepreneurial energies to achieve the higher level improved sanitation SDG targets through sanitation marketing and financing and support states in the development of SDG Plans.”

“As part of efforts to achieve the objectives, WASH facilities have been provided in 527 schools and 229 provided in Health Centers in the selected states between January and May 2017.”

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