UNICEF tasks FG on WASH services
Following the world leaders and relevant organizations conference for the UN 2023 Water Conference, UNICEF Nigeria has called on Nigeria’s Government to urgently intervene to end water crisis in the country.
The call was contained in a statement signed Dr. Jane Bevan, UNICEF Nigeria Chief of WASH and made available to journalists in Bauchi on Monday 20th March 2023 by the Communication Officer of UNICEF Bauchi Field office, in preparation for commemorating World Water Day today 22nd of March globally.
According to a new UNICEF analysis,78 million children in Nigeria are at the highest risk from a convergence of three water-related threats – inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); related diseases; and climate hazards.
The statement further explained that in Nigeria, one-third of the children do not have access to at least basic water at home, and two-thirds do not have basic sanitation services. Hand hygiene is also limited, with three-quarters of children unable to wash their hands due to lack of water and soap at home. As a result, Nigeria is one of the 10th countries carrying the heaviest burden of child deaths from diseases caused by inadequate WASH, such as diarrhea diseases.
It unfolded that Nigeria tops second out of 163 countries globally with the highest risk of exposure to climate and environmental threats. Groundwater levels are also dropping, requiring some communities to dig wells twice as deep as just a decade ago. At the same time, rainfall has become more erratic and intense, leading to floods that contaminate scarce water supplies.
“I believe we need to rapidly scale-up investment in the sector, including from global climate financing, strengthen climate resilience in the WASH sector and communities, increase effective and accountable systems, coordination, and capacities to provide water and sanitation services, and implement the UN-Water SDG6 Global Acceleration Framework.
“If we continue at the current pace, it will take 16 years to achieve access to safe water for all in Nigeria. We cannot wait that long, and the time to move quickly is now. Investing in climate-resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene services is not only a matter of protecting children’s health today, but also ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come”, Dr. Jane Bevan concluded.