Nigeria’s Federal Government has said only 57 percent of Nigerians have access to potable water.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu who said this at a symposium to commemorate the 2018 World Water Day in Abuja attributed the situation to population growth and climate change.
The minister said, ‘‘Statistics have shown over the years that with the rapid increase in population growth, access to clean drinking water and sanitation steadily declines.
“A lot of factors contribute to the water crises, such as climate change, poor management and a lot more, the most incriminating is the neglect of our ecosystem.
‘‘This has resulted in environmental damages such as floods, droughts, water pollution among others.
‘‘A worrying challenge is the declining percentage of Nigerians that are getting their water supply through piped networks, from 31 percent in 1990 to less than 7 percent in 2017.’’
“With these statistics, this is to mean that 43 percent of Nigerians are left with no access to water.
The Minister, who was represented by Dr. Musa Ibrahim, said the remaining 93 percent of Nigerians got water from other sources.
He, however, reaffirmed the Federal Government’s pledge towards formulating and implementing policies and programs that will enable sustainable access to safe and sufficient water for all Nigerians.
A UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Representative, Mr. Simone Grego said that drinking water resources were one of the major issues of the century globally.
Mr. Simone, citing a UN World Water Development Report, said globally, 3.6 billion people live in potentially water-scarce areas, adding that the figure could rise to five billion by 2050 if nothing was done.
He believes planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains and restoring wetlands are solutions that will address contemporary water management issues.
Also, at the event was Dr. Chichi Okoye, WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, urged the federal government to increase budget allocations to water and sanitation sector