Nearly one-third of Nigerian children do not have access to enough water, the UN children’s agency UNICEF said Monday.
It is calling for urgent measures to address the problem.
In a statement to mark World Water Day, UNICEF said more than 1.42 billion people, live in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability in the world.
It simply means that 1 in 5 children do not have enough water to meet their everyday needs.
Mustapha Emmanual Ushadari is an expert on the commodity. He wants the government to »provide potable drinking water, especially to children ».
« Potable drinking water is good. The government should provide at least potable drinking water, most especially for the children. The kids, they need potable drinking water. Before going to school, they need to drink water, before doing their day-to-day activities », Ushadari said.
In Africa’s most populous nation, the figures are particularly worrying, it noted.
26.5 million Nigerian children, that is 29 percent of the nation’s children experiencing high or extremely high water vulnerability, » the UN body said.
« A person is supposed to drink water four to five times in an hour, because water is healthy for the body. You will be healthy if you drink enough water, but if you don’t then you won’t be healthy. You can have kidney problems », Dauda Garba, water seller said.
About 100,000 Nigerian children are said to die annually of water-related diseases.
A UNICEF representative in this West African nation noted that ‘’ the world’s water crisis is here and children are the biggest victims’’.
UNICEF said despite « some progress » by Nigeria, »there is still much more work to be done to ensure that all Nigerians have access to adequate, quality water and hygiene services. »
Although about 70 percent of Nigerians are reported to have access to basic water services, more than half of these water sources are contaminated, the UN body added.