25% of Nigerians still use unsafe water – FG

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The Federal Government stated on Friday that approximately 25% of citizens nationwide still use unsafe water and urged immediate comprehensive action to tackle this issue, as well as address the environmental and health risks it presents.

It specifically stated that 25 out of every 100 individuals in Nigeria continue to depend on unsafe water sources.

At a press briefing in Abuja to mark World Water Day, Prof Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, revealed that according to the United Nations, 25 out of every 100 persons obtain their water from open streams and ponds.

He observed that a significant portion of the population relieves themselves outdoors or uses unsanitary, hazardous, or dysfunctional latrines, causing untreated human waste to flow into nature, resulting in severe health and environmental repercussions.

However, Utsev mentioned that the Federal Government was implementing various initiatives to address the situation, as he detailed key projects aimed at directly addressing the water crisis.

One of the initiatives of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene program is to enhance water access in rural areas, with public sanitation being a focal point, as he pointed out.

He emphasized that the government was committed to addressing the crisis, and called for continued collaboration with development partners and donors to support these initiatives.

Utsev claimed that under his leadership, the Federal Government has made sure that 15 Local Governments in five states of the federation reached the Open Defecation-Free status.

A report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation for the World Water Day revealed that 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water.

It also highlighted that 3.5 billion individuals lacked safely managed sanitation, emphasizing that water scarcity frequently acts as a potential catalyst for conflicts on a global scale.

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, warned that water scarcity, impacting one in two individuals globally, has the potential to escalate geopolitical tensions and endanger basic rights, particularly for girls and women.

The report projected the cost of achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in 140 low and middle-income countries to be around $1.7tn from 2016 to 2030.

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