Stakeholders on Monday called for serious commitment from government at all levels to provision of potable water and development for citizenry. They made the call at a sensitisation rally to commemorate the 2015 World Water Day in Abuja.
According to them, as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2015 World Water Day, there is the need for dogged determination to improve the lives of Nigerians.
The 2015 World Water Day theme is: “Water and Sustainable Development.” A UNICEF report to commemorate the day says Nigeria was not currently on-track with regards to its attainment of Water and Sanitation targets.
The report says poor people bear the greatest brunt of lack of access to water and sanitation. “With some 70 million people without access to safe water and over 110 million people without access to improved sanitation.
“The poor bear the greatest brunt of this lack of access to water and sanitation. “For women and girls, collecting water cuts into time they can spend caring for families and studying. In insecure areas, it also puts them at risk of violence and attack,” it added. According to the report, no fewer than 1,000 of them die globally every day from diarrhoeal diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene.
A Water Specialist, Dr Lekan Oyebande, says the 2015 theme reflects the important role of water in people’s daily lives; in human consumption, food production and health. Oyebande also said without water, life would not exist, adding that there was a need to develop the sector to reduce waste and safe lives. “Everyone, be it the government, the civil society, international development partners and the citizens, have a part to play in ensuring that water is sustainably used and is available for generations to come,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Istifaus Kaura, also reiterated government’s effort to increasing the number of Nigerians with access to water. Musa, who said this at the opening of a symposium to commemorate the day, said Nigeria has made giant strides at increasing access to water by moving from 54 to 67 per cent.
He said the ministry was working with its agencies to ensure that its water resources were managed to meet the present and future needs. He said through the application of appropriate technologies and resources, this has been achieved to a large extent.