The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that 40 per cent of households in Nigeria do not have access to clean water sources and that 69 million people drink unsafe water in the country.
Speaking on the International World Water Day, the Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF Nigeria, Mr Zaid Jurji warned that children without access to safe water are more likely to die in infancy and throughout childhood from waterborne diseases.
In a press statement by UNICEF Communication Specialist, Ms Eva Hinds, Jurji quoted the 2016/2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with UNICEF which showed that 69 million Nigerians lack access to safe water.
According to the MICS, 19 million people in the rural areas in Nigeria walk long distances to collect unsafe water from lakes, streams and rivers.
Jurji warned that children without access to safe water are more likely to die in infancy and throughout childhood from waterborne diseases.
He noted that diarrhea remains the leading cause of death among children under i�?ve years of age in Nigeria and those waterborne diseases also contribute to stunting.
He added that lack of safe water and sanitation also makes children vulnerable to other threats beyond health.
He maintained that access to safe drinking water remains a challenge to majority of Nigerians, especially those living in the rural areas.
His words a�?Improving water and sanitation services, as well as basic hygiene practices in Nigeria, calls for a strong commitment from all partners including the the government, the civil society, the private sector and communitiesa�?.
a�?For Nigeria to achieve the global goal of providing access to safe water for every citizen by 2030, it needs to make water, together with sanitation and hygiene, a national priority. This goal is closely linked with three key results for the country a�� good health, environment sustainability and economic prosperity”, he said.
He noted that UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal, State and Local Governments has provided safe water during the past five years to over 8 million Nigerians living in rural areas.
pupils drinking water from one of the hand pump provided by EU UNICEF in Jos
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)