The Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), United Nations Children Education Funds (UNICEF), Zaid Jurji, has said for Nigeria to address its water sanitation challenges, the nation needs to invest about $8 billion annually till the year 2030.
He also disclosed that less than 10 percent of the population in Nigeria get water suitable for drinking, adding that only two thirds have access to improved water sources, while 90 percent of the water sources are contaminated.
Jurji who stated this in an interview with Blueprint, said it is imperative for the federal government to triple its investment in sanitation that presently stand at over $2 billion.
According to the UNICEF Chief, “Nigeria must be more serious with Its investment in sanitation, the budgetary allocation to sanitation should be increased . Access to portable water and sanitation is human rights all over the world, because it contributes to the well-being of everybody.
“WASH impacts greatly in any place in the world. An investment of $1 will bring back returns of more than $25 in productivity. It’s really cost effective and this is an area that we should be focusing on.
“Sanitation is the responsibility of every government and people. 88% of diarrhoea cases all over the world are due to bad sanitation.
“Nigeria is a federation, and for the nation to address its sanitation problem, the nation must invest at least $8 billion yearly, till 2030. If Nigeria continues this way, the nation will only achieve 72% of its Sustainable Development Goals 6 goals by 2030.
“$8 billion is the estimated money by world Bank, that is needed to be invested annually on WASH from now to 2030, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG6 talks about water and sanitation.”
Jurji further lamented the fact that Nigeria only invest about 1.6% in sanitation.
Also speaking at a recent media dialogue on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, the Deputy Director, Child Right Information Bureau, Ministry of Information and Culture, Olumide Osanyinpeju, said water sanitation is very important in the life of a child.
According to him, “The SDG 6, clearly emphasis the importance of clean water and sanitation. Water is essential for the survival and development of all children.
“Open Defecation is incredibly dangerous, as contact with water can cause diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio, diarrhoea, worm infection and under nutrition. We must double our current efforts in order to end open defecation by 2030.
“Simple hygiene like hand washing can save lives . washing hands with soap after going to the toilet or before eating can have a significant impacts on children’s health.”