UNICEF has expressed concern over the shortage of potable water in Nigeria, saying over 86 per cent of Nigerians lack access to a safely managed drinking water source.
UNICEF in a statement to commemorate the World Water Day, further noted that “although about 70 per cent of Nigerians are reported to have access to a basic water services, more than half of these water sources are contaminated.”
UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawks, said in a statement that though 73 per cent of the country’s population had access to a water source, only nine litres of water on average was available to a Nigerian daily.
The statement read: “At the current rate, the country will miss the SDG targets on people’s access to water, unless there is a strong commitment and appropriate action taken by all stakeholders.
“While the impact of water scarcity can be felt by all, no one suffers more than the most vulnerable children.
‘’Children and families living in vulnerable communities face the double-edged sword of coping with high water scarcity levels while having the lowest water services, making access to sufficient water especially susceptible to climate shocks and extreme events.
“We have to act now both to address the water crisis in Nigeria to prevent it from getting worse and if we want to meet the SDGs.
“We can only achieve water security for every Nigerian – including the Nigerian child – through innovation, investment and collaboration, and by ensuring services are sustainable and well-managed. We must act – for the sake of our children and our planet.”
UNICEF further noted that according to its latest analysis, globally, more than 1.42 billion people, including 450 million children, were living in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability.