By Okon Okon
Abuja – WaterAid, an international organisation, has called on the three tiers of government in Nigeria to act fast to improve in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) ahead of UN’s review of progress in July.
The Country Director of the organisation, Dr Chichi Okoye, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
“This year is an important moment in the fight to reach everyone everywhere with WASH by July 2018 as the United Nations will review progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.
“SDG 6 is aimed at achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.
“We already know progress isn’t fast enough as children under five years in Nigeria still die each year because of diarrhoea linked to dirty water, poor toilets and poor hygiene,’’ Okoye told NAN.
He claimed that 33 per cent of people in Nigeria were living without adequate access to clean water.
“Everyone has a right to water, and our leaders must act to leave no one behind, “ he said.
According to Okoye, India has reached more than 300 million people with WASH in 15 years.
He said that progress on WASH required financing and political will.
The WaterAid official urged the governments to take actions ahead of a UN political forum, where SDG 6 would come under review among other goals.
“Without water, decent sanitation and good hygiene, other SDGs including those on gender equality, education, health, reducing inequalities cannot be achieved,“ he said.
According to him, without access to these basic amenities, men, women and children in Nigeria will remain trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease.
Okoye told NAN that access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene would end extreme poverty and create a more sustainable future.
“We have to act now to make this a reality, “ he urged.