As over Ministers of water resources prepare to converge in Washington for the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting April 20, WaterAid has released a new report that predicted that at the current rate the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation will not be met in Nigeria and several other Sub-Saharan Africa countries until 2175, 160 years late.
Warning that the proportion of people with access to sanitation is actually falling in Nigeria, the report shows that if Nigeria government fails to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halve the proportion of their population without sanitation by 2015 the lives of 100,000 children under the age of five will be at risk annual.
Titled: ‘Saving lives’, the report “there are more people in the world today without sanitation than there were in 1990”, and “the poor quality of sanitation and lack of access to safe drinking water causes 1.4 million child deaths every year, due to diarrhoea, and that these deaths are preventable”.
Presenting the report, the UK Chief Executive of WaterAid, Barbara Frost,said: “Governments could save the lives of 400,000 children by meeting their international commitment to invest in sanitation and to achieve this MDG. If governments committed to universal access to safe water to drink and improved sanitation they could save 2.5 million lives every year. It is unacceptable that 37% of the world’s population live without a toilet. The need for action is overwhelming.”
Later this week about 100 ministers and delegates from over 50 countries will meet in U.S. to discuss the water and sanitation crisis. Participating governments have to bring pledges to the table on increasing access to water and sanitation for the next two years; donor governments also have to provide commitments ahead of the meeting.
Speaking on the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting, Frost said: “The Washington meeting is crucial to making real progress improving sanitation and water which are essential to saving children’s lives and to delivering social and economic development. Governments from both developing and donor countries must grasp this opportunity to act in response to the crisis of lost lives.”