The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has put the number of Nigerians that lack access to safe water at over 70 million.
The UN Agency added that another 110 million people suffer from poor sanitation,
UNICEF spokesman Geoffrey Njoku said in a statement on Friday stated that “With some 70 million people without access to safe water and over 110 million people without access to improved sanitation, Nigeria is currently not on track with regard to its attainment of water and sanitation targets.”
The UN body said the lack of access to safe water and sanitation impedes development and exposes people especially children to greater risks of diseases.
“The poor bear the greatest brunt of this lack of access to water and sanitation,” the statement said.
“For women and girls, collecting water cuts into time they can spend caring for families and studying. In insecure areas, it also puts them at risk of violence and attack.”
UNICEF estimates that in Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water.
“For children, lack of access to safe water can be tragic. On average, nearly 1,000 of them die globally every day from diarrheal diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene.”
The UN body called for intensifying efforts for improving access to water and good sanitation and encouraging more government investments in these areas.
“UNICEF has been working with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as well as the state governments to promote use of sustainable approaches and technologies for water abstraction and use,” the statement said.
“In the last two years, nearly 2.5 million people gained access to safe water in rural areas through UNICEF support.”