International water body based in Nigeria, WaterAid Nigeria, has said despite the fact that water, sanitation and hygiene are fundamental for development, about 31 per cent of households in Nigeria lack access to clean water.
WaterAid Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Michael Ojo, stated this recently in Abuja where he explained that Nigeria was yet to meet its target on the area of hygiene and sanitation.
“In Nigeria, 31 per cent of households do not have access to clean water. The country, which is Africa’s most populous nation, has shown worsening trends across the board in the area of sanitation and hygiene, with decreasing access and increasing open defecation in both rural and urban areas.”
He added that, “The percentage of the population without access to basic sanitation is an astounding 71 per cent while 25 per cent practice open defecation.”
This crisis, according to Ojo, compromises the ability of children to attend school and that of adults to engage in income-generating work.
“It affects women and girls most, as they are largely often tasked with collecting water and are made more vulnerable to attack if they must relieve themselves in the open. They are also at higher risk of illness or infection in the absence of safe water, basic toilets and good hygiene.”
A recent report by WaterAid, Essential Element, has found that 45 chronically underfunded high-priority countries have been left behind in financing for water, sanitation and hygiene services and will not be able to meet the UN goal to reach everyone with water and sanitation without targeted overseas aid and strong leadership that gives new political and financial prioritisation to the issue.
He therefore, urged the federal government to seize this opportunity to change the course of history and reach those who are poorest and most vulnerable.

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