The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, on Wednesday, said about two-thirds of the population of citizens in Nigeria lacked access to potable water.
Nigeria has an estimated population of about 200 million, as 2/3 of this figure represents over 133 million persons without access to potable water across the country.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja to commemorate the 2023 World Water Day, the Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF, Jane Bevan, stated that though the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and states were investing in water, the sustainability of these investments had remained a major challenge.
“Unfortunately in Nigeria, the progress is static, in which 2/3 of the Nigerian population do not have access to potable water and that’s a lot people if you think about the population
“Although the ministry is investing and states are investing in water, one of the challenge is sustainability. So it’s very difficult for new schemes coming online and put the old ones up to date,” she stated.
She called for adequate improvement in investments, stressing that the lack of enough access to water had huge implications for Nigeria.
“This is why UNICEF in working, in terms of sanitation, because it is the children that suffer the most. So it is important to look into the provision of safe water.
“Investments need to increase, in fact Nigeria’s level of investment is one of the lowest in the region. Nigeria is less than three per cent (in terms of investments), so there’s still a lot more to be done,” Bevan stated.
On his part, the Natural Resource and Environment Specialist of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Seyi Fabiyi, said water was critical to the mandate of the FAO.
He said 72 per cent of freshwater withdrawal was being used in the agricultural sector, adding that the food system depended critically on water resources and that this should be effectively managed.
The representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Agnes Aneke, said the Federal Government was committed to continuing collaborating with development partners and donors to properly execute water policies in Nigeria