78 million children in Nigeria stand the risk of three water-related threats, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned.
Disclosing this in a statement on Monday, the UNICEF Nigeria chief of WASH, Jane Bevan, said the risk are of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases and climate hazards.
UNICEF said, “In Nigeria, one-third of children do not have access to at least basic water at home, and two-thirds do not have basic sanitation services. Hand hygiene is also limited, with three-quarters of children unable to wash their hands due to lack of water and soap at home,” said the statement.
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“As a result, Nigeria is one of the 10 countries that carry the heaviest burden of child deaths from diseases caused by inadequate WASH, such as diarrhoeal diseases.“
It called for an investment in climate-resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene services in order to protect children’s health today and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
“I believe we need to rapidly scale up investment in the sector, including global climate financing, to strengthen climate resilience in the WASH sector and communities,” it noted. “Also, increase effective and accountable systems, coordination, and capacities to provide water and sanitation services, and implement the UN-Water SDG6 Global Acceleration Framework.”