Improving Access For Safe Water And Adequate Sanitation Services

1799 Words8 Pages
Next to air, water is no doubt the most essential element to human life as the body cannot usually survive longer than several days without. Not only is water essential to every single cell and organ in the body, it makes up two-thirds of the weight of the human body.
Given its importance, the need to ensure that every individual gets access to safe water through the municipal water systems cannot be overemphasized. However the reasons why improving access to safe water and adequate sanitation services in Nigeria remains painfully slow are wide ranging, complex and complicated by corruption that pervades every sector of the economy.
Critically, issues with poor operation and maintenance, inept institutions, insufficient technical capacity
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As you read this, thousands of Nigerians (mostly children) lie sick, bodies ravaged by cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery; even as an estimated 194,000 Nigerian children under the age of 5 (not to mention teenagers and adults) die annually from these preventable water and sanitation related diseases. The statistics are grim; 70 million Nigerians exist without access to safe drinking water, 102 million don’t have access to improved sanitary services, 33milion (about the population of Canada) still defecate in the open.
According to a desk study by the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) Nigeria loses N455 billion ($3 billion) annually due to poor sanitation. There is almost no state in Nigeria without abandoned water projects or one whose construction has gone on forever, creating a veritable opening for fraud, assuring the continued suffering of many.
For example, in Nassarawa state, reports document that the immediate past governor awarded contracts running into billions of naira to either start fresh water projects or rehabilitate existing ones across several localities. However, in Nassarawa-Eggon (site for a N2.4 billion water project), only ‘zinc sheets are there to fence the project site where equipment have been overgrown with thick grass’ the contactor Saplast is noted to have been paid close to N400 million. In Lafia, the state capital, ‘millions of naira was sunk into the rehabilitation between 2008 and 2010,’
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