In recent Naija news, Nigeria has once again managed to earn another dark spot on its already battered reputation.
The country have secured a comfortable second position rating in global open defecation behind the all time world record holder, India.
The country has constantly provided those that call it a ZOO with fresh reasons to backup their claim.
Nigeria has continued to cast a dark shadow on the African continent and the world at large with her infamous reputation.
In light of this shameful development, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared a state of emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, hygiene and sanitation sector.
The emergency declaration was necessary to check the rising number of preventable deaths caused by the high prevalence of water-borne diseases across the country.
Government officials at all levels have been directed to redouble efforts towards meeting the nation’s water supply and sanitation needs.
President Buhari said this new report on open defecation, access to piped water services and sanitation in the country was ‘disturbing’.
He also warned that henceforth, the Federal Government will only provide support to state governments based on their commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan to end open defecation by 2025.
This he made known while inaugurating the national action plan for revitalization of water supply, sanitation and hygiene, WASH in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Buhari said: “Access to piped water services, which was 32 percent in 1990, has declined to seven in 2015; access to improved sanitation also decreased from 38 percent in 1990 to 29 in 2015.
“Our country now ranks second in the global rating on open defecation, as about 25 percent of our population is practicing open defecation.
“WASH services in rural areas are unsustainable, as 46 percent of all water schemes are non-functional.
“The share of our spending on WASH sector has been declining from 0.70 percent of the GDP in 1990 to about 0.27 percent in 2015.
“Which is far below the 0.70 percent at the West African regional level.”
The provision of potable water supply, adequate sanitation and hygiene were primarily the responsibilities of state and local government.
The president however said his administration would continue to place priority on infrastructure development, water supply, sanitation and hygiene services, towards ensuring a better life for Nigerians.
According to him, this is being demonstrated through faithful implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, which is the present administration’s blueprint for infrastructure and economic development.
Pernille Ironson, The Deputy Country Representative, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, Nigeria, while speaking on behalf of WASH development partners said:
“The Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment and state governments need to work together for all Nigerians to have clean water and sanitation.”
Imo, Abia, Delta, Taraba, Niger and Sokoto are the only states running the WASH program in the country.
- with 626 million people who practice open defecation, has more than twice the number of the next 18 countries combined;
- accounts for 90 per cent of the 692 million people in South Asia who practice open defecation;
- accounts for 59 per cent of the 1.1 billion people in the world who practice open defecation;
- has 97 million people without access to improved sources of drinking water, second only to China.