The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF on Monday said nearly one-third of Nigerian children do not have access to enough water. It called for urgent measures to address the problem, reported Africa News.
In a statement released on World Water Day, the UNICEF said more than 1.42 billion people globally, including 450 million children, are living in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability.
The analysis report released by UNICEF claims that one in five children worldwide lack water to meet their everyday needs.
The UN body said the figures in Nigeria are very worrying as it has been found that 26.5 million Nigerian children or 29 percent of the nation’s children are experiencing high or extremely high water vulnerability. It found that every year 100,000 Nigerian children die of water-related diseases.
The UNICEF said that a Nigerian has access to only nine liters of water on average daily, and according to national standards, the minimum acceptable range should be between 12 and 16 liters per day.
“All hands must be on deck to ensure that safe water is available #ForEveryChild, everywhere,” it said.
The UNICEF also cited the 2020 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASH-NORM) report that says that two-thirds (66%) of Nigeria’s population of over 209 million use contaminated drinking water at the point of collection.
The report added that some 63% of the country’s population consumes contaminated water at the point of consumption within the household.
“The world’s water crisis is not coming — it is here, and children are its biggest victims,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria.
The UN body said that although the Nigerian government has done some work in this regard, there is still much more work to be done to ensure that all Nigerians have access to adequate, quality water and hygiene services.