UNESCO: 30% of Nigerians Lack Access to Quality Water

  • Launches capacity development exercise next year‎ on quality water

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said that 30 per cent of Nigerians still lack access to quality water.

It said though‎ this was not peculiar to Nigeria alone but all countries in the sub-Saharan Africa.

UNESCO Regional Advisor, Mr. Simone‎ Grego disclosed this in Abuja at the regional expert meeting on water quality in agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in West Africa.

Based on this, he said UNESCO would be ‎launching a capacity development exercise next year to address the issue of lack of quality water facing sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, “the target for the drinking water plan on MDGs, Nigeria scored well‎, I mean the target was met, on the contrary on the sanitation aspect, the target wasn’t met. This is common with all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s not only an issue for Nigeria. Maybe the target was too ambitious, maybe their resources were not enough or maybe there wasn’t enough capacity to meet the target.”

He noted that, “this is why we are working to strengthen the capacities of the countries in West Africa which are in our domain, because we believe as UNESCO‎ that capacity is the main issue.”

Grego added that over the years Nigeria fared well in terms of drinking water but it didn’t go down well with respect to sanitation .

“What we are doing here is a sort of scooping exercise , it’s a fact finding workshop, we are trying to understand from the eight countries in the region that we covered; what are their main issues in terms of water quality; what are the solutions that they are proposing to adopt; and how they are going to manage the monitoring of the SDGs with respect to water quality.

“Once we gathered this information, next year we will launch capacity development exercise to ensure that the issues that have been highlighted in this workshop will be addressed with capacity development.

“In1990, 40 per cent of Nigerians have access to improved water resources; in 2015, 69 per cent have access to improved water resources, 30 per cent of Nigerians still lack access to quality water,” he said.

Earlier, the Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna‎, Dr. Emmanuel Adamu said the workshop was aimed at developing appropriate and workable framework for the strategic implementation of target 3 of Goal 6 of the agenda 2030 SDGs; which directly related to water and waste water quality management.

He also affirmed that only 69 to 70 per cent of Nigerians have access to quality water, while 30 per cent don’t, adding that one of the reasons‎ SDGs has come was because MDGs didn’t have water has one of its goals.