Report urges govt to take action on high cost of water in Nigeria
57.7m people lack access to clean water
With a new report released to mark this year’s Water Day ranking Nigeria lowest in the world for access to improved drinking water and sanitation, a foremost development organisation – Water Aid Nigeria has called on the government to take action to reach the estimated 57.7 million people still without access to clean water.
The ‘Water: At What Cost: The State of the World’s Water’ report offers a snapshot of access to water around the world in 2016. It also ranks nations based on rates of household access to water and on highest populations without access to water and includes a list of the countries, which have improved most in the last 15 years.
While Nigeria features 17 in the list of the top 20 most improved countries for water access over the past 15 years, the African giant is also one of the worst in the world for household water access and features third in the world on a list of the top ten countries with the greatest numbers of people living without access to safe water. People reliant on a tanker truck for their water supply could spend as much as 45per cent of their daily income on water to get just the recommended daily minimum supply.
Finding also shows that only 29 per cent of Nigeria’s population has access to basic sanitation. Nigeria is one of a handful of countries around the world where access to basic sanitation is falling rather than rising. About 25 per cent practice open defecation while 31 per cent lack access to improved water sources. Similarly, around 68,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria die from diseases caused by the nation’s poor levels of access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
“This highlights just how much overall progress can mask the stark inequality that still exists in much of the developing world because even though much progress has been made in reaching a huge population of the world with improved sources of drinking water, tens of millions of people are still un-served with their basic human right to safe water, even in countries that have made the most impressive progress,” says the report
This year’s global theme for World Water Day ‘Water and Jobs’ highlights how enough quantity and quality of water can change lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies. A lack of access to safe water has numerous impacts on work and productivity in many ways. Almost half of the world’s workers—1.5 billion people—work in water-related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery.
The Country Representative, WaterAid Nigeria Dr. Michael Ojo said: “On this World Water Day, it is shocking to realise that a life essential such as water can cost a poor person in the developing world as much as half of their income, for an amount that is about one-third of average daily use in the developed world.
“Clean drinking water is a right yet an estimated 31 per cent of people in Nigeria are still living without access to clean water. Increased competition for water resources and climate change are only exacerbating the crisis, which along with lack of sanitation is responsible for the deaths of more than 68,000 children under five each year in the country.
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