Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: 63.6 Million Nigerians Lack Access to Potable Water - Wash

Water Sanitation And Hygiene (WASH), a media network, concerned with sanitation and water, has said that 63.6 million Nigerians have no access to potable water.

Mr. Dennis Deteer, Chairman of its Plateau chapter, disclosed this in Jos on Friday when the body paid an advocacy visit to Plateau State Community and Social Development Agency.

He said that Nigeria's MDG target was to supply 74 per cent of the population with safe drinking water and 69 per cent of the population with adequate sanitation by 2015.

The WASH official lamented that only 58 per cent of Nigerians had access to safe drinking water, with only 32 per cent population having access to good sanitation.

"At current rate of progress, the water target will be achieved in 2033, which is 18 years after the proposed 2015," Deteer explained.

According to him, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that 361,900 people die yearly due to poor water and sanitation in Nigeria.

"UNICEF also estimates that 194,000 children under the age of 5, die from diarrhoea caused by poor water and sanitation yearly," he added.

The chairman disclosed that WASH media network was a brain child of the Water Aid Nigeria with the objective of advocating, facilitating, supporting and monitoring water and sanitation issues.

"The network has also been a voice for the voiceless majority in poor urban and rural communities on WASH issues," Deteer said.

He said that the visit was to seek collaboration with the Plateau Agency. He commended the Agency's involvement in the sinking of boreholes, hand-dug wells and the provision of other social amenities especially to people in backward urban and rural areas.

Mr Dauda Dinju, the Chief Executive Officer, Plateau State Community and Social Development Agency, who received the WASH media network, assured the chairman of the agency's collaboration.

He called on the WASH media network to carry out adequate sensitization, especially in the rural areas, on the agency's activities.

"We want you to specially senstise those in the rural areas; le them know that all they need do is identify a basic need in their community and write a letter to us.

"Once we receive that letter, we shall visit such community to ensure that what's written is actually a collective need of such community.

"We would then ascertain the cost of executing such a project."

"To make for collective ownership, the community is expected to provide 10 per cent of the cost price for executing such a project, while we shall provide the reminder."

Plateau State Community and Social Development Agency is in partnership with the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance toward gathering sufficient funds for their activities.

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