Sunday, May 13, 2012

Nigeria Has 3rd Poorest Water Supply

China and India are the countries with large populations topping the WHO list on poor water supply and sanitation

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Godknows Igali, on Thursday in Abuja said Nigeria ranked third on the global list of countries with poor water supply and sanitation.

Igali announced this at the 11th session of Development Partners Coordination Meeting, in reference to the recent global progress report published by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF on water and sanitation.

He lamented that the country was still off track on the MDGs target for the water sector, stressing the country's third position as one of the world’s poorest countries in gaining access to water and sanitation. 

"The World Health Organisation and UNICEF report for 2012 ranked Nigeria third behind China and India, as countries with the largest population without adequate water and sanitation,” he said.

"The challenge is critical, as women and children trek long distances to fetch water from streams and ponds which are most times contaminated."

The Permanent Secretary admitted there were challenges confronting the water sector and also applauded development partners for providing safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and good hygiene practice to the citizenry. He said the populace's living condition had improved due to development partners' support.

"We commend the efforts of development partners in policy formulation and implementation, increased funding and development of strategies and programmes for sustainable services," he said.

According to Igali, the ministry was interested in collaborating with the National Planning Commission and the Islamic Bank in order to raise funds for projects, adding that investment in the sector would help boost the country’s present status upwards.

The development partners at the meeting reiterated their support towards the goal, saying they have prioritised water and sanitation in their project plan.

 A consultant for the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bamidele Olatunji, also disclosed that a national master plan review was ongoing as part of efforts to move the water sector forward.

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