• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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5m in dire need of water, others in North-East, says WASH coordinator

5m in dire need of water, others in North-East, says WASH coordinator

Some five million Nigerians are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States in the Northeast region.

Francois Bellet, the sector coordinator (WASH) in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, raised the concern on Tuesday at an event to mark this year’s World Water Day, in Maiduguri, Borno State.

According to Bellet, the WASH sector, which consists of 42 humanitarian organisations, supported 1.6 million people in Borno state with safe drinking water in 2023.

Read also: UNICEF: Access to clean water critical for development, peace

He said that many internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities in the region still lack potable water, latrines and other services to improve their well-being.

“Five million people are still in need of WASH in Northeast Nigeria. There is a need to address this concern because safe drinking water is key to addressing WASH-related acute vulnerabilities such as germs and other diseases,” he said.

Also speaking, Phuong Nguyen, UNICEF chief of field office, (water), said that ensuring reliable access to water was paramount for peaceful coexistence in the Northeast that is emerging from 15 years of conflict.

She said millions of children and families in the region still lack access to safe water and, therefore, advocated for more investment in the sector.

“There’s an urgent need to increase investments to accelerate progress for both climate-friendly water and sanitation services in Borno State and across Northeast Nigeria” Nguyen stressed.

The UNICEF chief explained that initiatives such as the Small-Town Water Scheme have revolutionised water access in conflict-affected communities, demonstrating the power of innovation in addressing complex challenges.

Mohammed Aliyu, general manager, Borno State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, said the state government has constructed over 200 hybrid boreholes, 462 hand pumps and rehabilitated 316 solar-powered boreholes across the state in the last five years.

Read also: FCCPC blames cartels for sachet water price hike

Represented by Hauwa Anas, director of administration and supply, the general manager also said that two million people were currently being reconnected with clean water, to achieve SDG goal 6.