• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo


Group explains why Nigerian government should step up action on water

Group explains why Nigerian government should step up action on water

Worried about a scary statistics that shows about 55 million people in Nigeria, representing 29 percent of the country’s population, who don’t even have a basic water pump or covered well close to home, WaterAid Nigeria says the government should take urgent action on water provision.

The group notes that this dire situation is making it much harder for the people in the country to cope with the growing impacts of climate change.

“Everyone needs water to survive,” said Evelyn Mere, WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, who spoke on Sunday to mark the World Water Day. She posited that “ensuring everyone has a source of safe water they can rely on, whatever the weather, is the vital first line of defence against the growing threat of climate change.”

Mere is of the view that the most immediate and widespread impacts of climate change are felt through water reflected in extreme droughts, sea level rises, more frequent floods and powerful storms, all of which threaten people’s access to safe water.

“WaterAid is calling on Nigeria to include planning for how to provide climate resilient water and sanitation services in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) plans,” she disclosed, explaining that NDC is the document which Nigeria is obliged to produce by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and its National Adaptation Plans.

This, according to her, sets a baseline from which countries can develop bids to access global climate funding sources.

By the last count, Nigeria ranked the 55th most vulnerable country to climate change and this placed the country among the top 35 percent in the world. In spite of this, the country only receives USD $1 per person, per year in climate finance.

“This is for both mitigation – cutting carbon emissions – and adaptation – reducing the impacts of climate change,” Mere lamented.

It is a thing of great concern, the country director noted, that while developing countries contribute very little to global carbon emissions, they are the least prepared to withstand the effects, with little money allocated towards helping them.

The situation is such that an average Nigerian account annually for emissions of 0.546 metric tons of carbon dioxide compared to the average per capita emission in the United States of 16.5 metric tons.

It is estimated that, across the world, nearly 800 million people do not have access to clean water close to home, while a staggering two billion people do not have access to a water service that is free from contamination, putting them at risk of waterborne disease and death.

The projection is that, by 2050, the number of people expected to face problems in getting water, at least once a month, is expected to swell to five billion globally – over 50 percent of the world’s population.

 “Access to clean water is uniquely vulnerable as climate change piles more pressure on water sources that are already overstretched due to inadequate infrastructures, poor water management and a lack of government funding,” Mere noted.