The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that 15 million out of the over 190 million Nigerians still drink water from lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and irrigation canals.
The agency also said that these 15 million Nigerians live in the rural areas of Nigeria.
Speaking on Tuesday, August 22, during a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) workshop organized for journalists by UNICEF, European Union and the ministry of information, Moustapha Niang, said 57 million Nigerians in general lack access to safe water supply.
Niang, a WASH specialist with UNICEF also said more than half of these 57 million Nigerians live in rural areas.
He added that only 8% of rural household have hand washing facilities with soap and water, while 130 million Nigerians use an improvised facility.
Condemning the situation, Niang said, accessibility portable water supply can also be linked to child survival as 45,000 under five children die annually from diseases caused by poor access to water sanitation and hygiene.
He said that if these numbers keep increasing, Nigeria is unlikely to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 6 target which aims at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
“With business as usual, Nigeria is unlikely to meet the SDG-6 targets,” Niang said.
As of 2017, the progress of SDG 6 shows that effective water and sanitation management relies on the participation a range of stakeholder which local communities.
Reacting to this the permanent secretary for political, legislative affairs and water resources in Akwa Ibom state, Nse Edem said the state is focusing on introducing policies that will ensure water accessibility to all residents of the state.
Edem however called for partnership from relevant agencies for the provision of portable water to residents.
“Akwa Ibom never delays to pay our counterpart funding for WASH Programme; What I want everybody to know is that Akwa Ibom is ready to provide water to all in the state and even the south-south region,” Edem said.
The allocation, the Senate said, must deal with children’s nutrition, education and other immediate needs of a Nigerian child.
While marking the 2016 International Day of the African Child, the Senate President Bukola Saraki urged the federal and state governments to ensure the implementation of the child rights act in Nigeria.
Saraki said the effort will protect children and give them a great future.