The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has tasked all key players in the water sector to join forces to ensure success in the achievement of the country’s water sanitation targets.
Unveiling the country’s policy documents on water sanitation and irrigation in Abuja, Professor Osinbajo said that improving water sanitation and hygiene in all parts of the country would improve the living conditions of the people.
“Despite the fact that we all seem to agree that water is life and critical to human existence, it is amazing how lightly we take issues of water management.
“Excess water or insufficient water not properly managed is devastating to both man and environment,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo said that although the country has achieved 69% success on water supply and 29% on sanitation, 66 million Nigerians without access to safe water and 110 million without adequate sanitation resulting to high rate of child mortality is a trend Nigeria must change.
“It is also a well-known fact that Nigeria did not achieve the targets of the Millennium Development Goals – MDGs for water and sanitation.
“Some of the reasons adduced for this include primarily, the lack of effective coordination among stakeholders and the inability to harness the required funds.
“There are about 66 million Nigerians without access to safe water and 110 million without adequate sanitation. Consequently, about 150,000 children under the age of 5 die annually from diarrhea-related diseases that are mostly traceable to unsafe drinking water.
“The situation is even more depressing in the rural areas where polluted ponds and streams remain the only source of water for drinking and other household chores.
“This trend must change,” he said.