An NGO, WaterAid Nigeria, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for demonstrating political will in addressing issues on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in the country.
Oluseyi Abdulmalik, the Communications and Media Manager of the organistion, made the commendation in a statement issued in Bauchi on Thursday.
Abdulmalik said: “one out of three Nigerians is without clean water, and two out of three Nigerians are without decent household sanitation.
“Strong political will is what is needed to address the water and sanitation crises in Nigeria.
“At WaterAid, we are delighted that the Federal Government and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, is demonstrating the needed political will on water Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).”
She also welcomed the launch on Thursday of the Federal Government’s emergency response to address its water and sanitation crisis.
“That is the first phase of a National Action Plan addressing a state of emergency declared earlier this year,” she said.
According to Abdulmalik, while Nigeria is the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, one out of three citizens of the country does not have clean water close to home and two in three do not have a decent household toilet.
“This directly contributes to the deaths of nearly 60,000 children under five each year of diarrhoeal illnesses caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene.”
She noted that poor sanitation was also estimated to cost countries the equivalent of 0.9% of GDP, which in Nigeria, amounted to 3.38 billion dollars a year.
She said that the National Plan of Action was a significant political milestone towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal Six to reach everyone, everywhere with clean water and decent sanitation by 2030.
She, therefore, urged state governments to follow suit in developing action plans to address the water and sanitation crises in their respective states.
National Action Plan commences with an 18-month emergency plan, followed by a five-year recovery plan and a 13-year revitalisation strategy, towards the 2030 deadline set by the UN.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to eradicate extreme poverty and create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
It also commits the Federal Government of Nigeria and states to establishing the institutional and funding foundations for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services, and to accelerate development towards