Access to clean water is still a major challenge in Nigeria and boreholes remain the primary source of water for a larger proportion of Nigerians.
This is both for domestic use (50 percent) and drinking (37 percent), Nigeria’s leading survey and polling firm, NOIPolls Ltd has said.
The NOIPolls said in a report released on Tuesday, 26 March 2019, in Abuja in commemoration of the World Water Day, that its past poll on access to clean water which was conducted in partnership with WaterAid in 2018, gauged the perception of Nigerians regarding their access to water; accessibility of clean water to Nigerians, the quality and treatment of drinking water and the types of challenges faced in accessing clean water.
According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), this source of water supply is mainly classified as an improved source of water supply.
It noted that while it falls under the purview of government at all levels through the Ministry of Water resources to provide water, the reverse is the case as Nigerians provide their own water through the construction of boreholes.
It added that this alternative source of water appears to constitute a looming danger for Nigerians as most of these boreholes are exposed to underground pathogens and pollutants, especially E-coli which cause diarrhoea diseases, which are also contributing factors to malnutrition and child mortality.
The report said that more findings from the opinion poll revealed that 66 percent of Nigerians do not treat their water in any form before drinking regardless of the source, mainly because they believe the water is good enough to drink (16 percent).
“On the other hand, 34 percent who treat their water before drinking it mostly adopt boiling (49 percent) the water as a method of purification.
“On access to clean water, 37 percent of Nigerians lamented over the challenges they face in accessing clean water in their households and the negative impacts this has on their spending and health,” it said.
The report noted that the World Bank has it that accessing clean water is a major factor in reducing child mortality. In Nigeria alone, around 60,000 children under the age of five die each year from diseases caused by the nation’s poor levels of access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
The report concluded that in order to meet the 6th Goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which is to ‘Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for all’, government at all levels in Nigeria needs to urgently provide funds for the provision of improved quality of water and water sources to the citizenry.
“Finally, though the provision of water supply is capital intensive, it is still a basic necessity for the well-being of Nigerians. Therefore, Public-Private-Partnership programmes should be encouraged to attract investors in order to ensure adequate production, distribution and sale of potable water to all. Above all, the Federal Government should fully implement the provisions of the approved 2000 Nigeria’s National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy,” it added.
The United Nation’s (UN) World Water Day is held annually on the 22nd of March and the aim is to underline the importance of water as well as advocate for the sustainable management of water resources. The theme for the 2019 World Water Day was “Leave no one behind.”