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World Water Day: Community women demand portable drinking water from government

World Water Day: Community women demand portable drinking water from government

As the World celebrated World Water Day recently, community women have demanded portable drinking water from the government at all levels. The women made the demand at a one-day programme to mark World Water Day in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The women drawn from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, and Rivers State maintained that due to the lack of portable drinking water in their various communities, it has become extremely difficult for them to cope with life.

They expressed displeasure that since Nigeria’s Independence till date, most communities in the Niger Delta are still using water from the stream, river, creek and well water, noting that their sources of water have been highly polluted due to the environmental degradation from oil pollution and the issues from climate change while calling on government and corporate organisations to look into the lack of portable drinking water and expedite action. They noted that many women have died because of contaminated water, while others are critically ill or hospitalised.

The women lamented that while developed countries of the world are celebrating World Water Day and its importance, local women are in pains and grief because of the scarcity of this very important social amenities that are yet not available to them at this 21Century, while the world is moving to new discoveries; they described the situation as unacceptable.

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Earlier, the Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Emen Okon told participants that 15 March to 24 is the ‘We Women Are Water’ campaign with the aim to highlight the crucial role that women play in the protection and sustainable use of water-related ecosystem and also to address climate change, which is led by Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA).

Okon stated that campaign calls on government, International Development Bank, and Green climate fund to stop investing in projects that violate the fundamental human rights of community people especially large hydro power dams, oil and gas extractive but they concentrate on water-activities to help the people.

The right activist called on government to commit to upholding water as human right and invest in women’s leadership to address their challenge in the area of water security.

In their Goodwill messages, Davidson Ere from Ministry of Environment Bayelsa State, Ini Umoh of Akwa Ibom , Nwanko Isaac from Rivers State, Ministry of Environment and Joy Ehinor-Esezobor of Ford Foundation all corroborated that women are more vulnerable to water-related diseases, but tasked the women to hold their political leaders responsible for their woes, but that they should be involved in critical development.

In his presentation, the Keynote Speaker, Fortune Uchenna enumerated the health challenges posed by polluted water.