Nigeria has the potential to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), 6 target on water resource before 2030, WaterAid, an international NGO, has said.
Michael Ojo, the Country Director of WaterAid, made the observation while unveiling the organisation’s 2017 agenda in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to Ojo, the organisation is working to reach out to two million people across Bauchi, Jigawa, Enugu, Benue, Plateau and Ekiti to ensure that people have access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities.
‘‘One of the most important aspects of our current work is really looking at how lack of access to WASH affects health and particularly on improving maternal and child healthcare.
‘‘We are targeting this by increasing access to WASH, particularly healthcare centres and states where we are working, especially in the rural areas.
‘‘We are also working in partnership with the Federal Government and other stakeholders especially other international NGOs. For us, really, it is the way to look at delivering on SDG 6’’, he said.
Ojo said about 69 per cent of Nigerians had access to improved sources of water, but that still left about 60 million Nigerians without access to WASH facilities.
“Currently, about 69 per cent of Nigerians have access to improved sources of WASH services, and about 41 million people at the rural areas are without quality services.
“But the problem is not such a difficult issue especially when we consider about 13 years left before 2030. It can be done, but what we need is the political will.’’
According to him, Nigeria is blessed with numerous sources of water which can be harnessed.
He said WaterAid, as an international organisation working in Nigeria to supply WASH services, was determined to partner with government at all levels to ensure that everyone, everywhere, had access to WASH.
“We have resources as a country to make this happen but the political will to put the resources where they should be is what is lacking.
“And to ensure that our investments are sustainable and to built on what we’ve done is what is required and it can be done. Achieving SDG 6 is possible’’, he said.
Ojo called on the government to focus attention on water supply to rural areas.
He said people complained of lack of government’s presence in the area of water supply in states as Bauchi and Plateau.
“SDG 6 is targeting availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030
“Goal 6 not only addresses the issues relating to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, but also the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide.’’