By Folarin Emmanuel
The Federal Government has said that current National access to water supply stand at 57%, that millions of Nigerians in rural area lack access to improved drinking water sources.
Speaking at the ‘World Water Day’ with Theme: Nature of Water 2018, on Thursday in Abuja, Sulieman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources noted that with the increasing rate of population growth, access to clean water and sanitation has continued to decline steadily.
Adamu, who was represented by Musa Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of water resources, lamented on the declining percentage of Nigerians getting their water supply through piped network from 31% in 1990 to less than 7% in 2017.
The minister said, “this shows that majority of the 93% are drawing water from other sources that cannot guarantee freshness evident in the indiscriminate digging or boreholes with resultant consequence on the environment in the urban areas and fetching of unclean water from rivers and stream in the rural areas.
He said, “We need to work harder to attain SDG 6, which is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030 while protecting the ecosystem. As part of Nature Base Solution (NBS, it is time to ‘go green’ and ‘stay green’.
According to him, this year World water day symposium and the deliberations will not only educate on the Nature base Solution but will address crucial elements to improve the nexus between water energy, food and ecosystem.
In his goodwill message, Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, represented by Dr Simone Gregor noted that according to the latest United Nation world water development report, 3.6 billion people around the world, which is about half of the worlds population, live in potentially water scare areas during a at least one month a year, adding that the figure could rise to more than 5 billion in 2050.
She, however, highlighted that reasons for water global shortage as, “freshwater resources are continually under the combined pressure of global population growth, climate change, the exponential increase in consumption and the spread of lifestyle that squander resources.
Azoulay call for an urgent solution to be found to protect Earths natural capital.
In her remark, Chichi Okoye, Country Director, Water Aid Nigeria said the World water day with its theme, Nature for water emphasis on the need for exploring nature based solutions to the current water challenges being faced as a nation and region.