50 million Nigerians still don’t have access to portable water

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    Children watch as women pump water from a borehole near Malawi's capital Lilongwe
    Children watch as women pump water from a borehole near Malawi's capital Lilongwe, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

    The Federal Government yesterday assured that it is working hard towards meeting the water and sanitation needs of Nigerians as parts of its efforts to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) by the year 2030.

    Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, added that the country has not been able to achieve its 2015 target of 75% coverage for water supply to the populace and the target for sanitation.

    The minister said, “We met the water supply by only 69%, but we did very poorly in sanitation. This 69% means over 50 million Nigerians still don’t have access to portable water, and that is a huge number of people.

    “We have come up with a programme, which we are going to unveil in detail at the National Council on Water Resources meeting next week. That programme is aimed at ensuring we are now able to meet the SDGs target for 2030 and there will be 100 percent access for everybody,” he added.

    “That is part of issue we put in the document we presented to the President. You know we subscribed to the Millennium Development Goals, by last year 2015 we were supposed to have achieved 75% coverage for water supply and a certain target for sanitation. Unfortunately, we are not able to meet that.”

    Adamu added that the ministry has come up with a huge programme that will help to cover those gaps. The programme, he said was part of the package presented to President Buhari yesterday.

    The minister said part of the efforts included restructuring of the ministry to bring it in tandem with the objectives of the attaining the SDGs

    An engineer, Adamu said that the ministry’s national water resource master plan was intended to identify all the key issues and projects that the ministry should undertake between now and 2030.

    He explained: “We x-rayed that master plan, we dissected it and came up with some specific interventions that we think will take the water resources sub sector to a more robust level by the year 2030.

    Adamu said that some of the programmes have been projected for four years and others five years up to the year 2030.

    “I had my marching order on November 11 when I was sworn-in. What we are doing is just to fulfill that marching order. At the end of the day we want to see that water resources sector is doing what it is supposed to do.

    “We have coverage of water supply and sanitation. We want to meet the SDG goals before 2030. We also need to meet the target for open defecation by 2025 because we have subscribed to that, these are some of the targets.”

    “The President welcomed our presentation and he said he is looking forward to it. Now we have to break it down into specific actions, seek specific approvals and he is waiting anxiously to hear from us,” he concluded.

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