As children, we were taught the basic importance of water. For cooking, washing, bathing and house chores
While emphasis is laid on the use and need for clean water, it should also be made on the dangers and effects of unclean water and poor sanitation practices, which leads to contamination of water.
Majority of diseases and endemic raging Nigeria are due to the use of contaminated water, usually caused by poor hygiene and sanitation practices such as defecating in open places or water sources.
Poor access to clean water and sanitation has continued to be a major contributing factor to high morbidity and mortality rates amongst children within the age range 0-5. This is due to the increased vulnerability to waterborne diseases, including diarrhoea which leads to an annual death of over 70,000 children under the age of 5.
UNICEF statistics shows that only 25.6% of population use proper drinking water sources, and sanitation facilities, with 73% of diarrhoeal and enteric disease associated with poor access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
In the bid to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 by 2030, UNICEF has put forward some solutions.
+ Provision of equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene services
+ Strengthen government efforts to eradicate the practice of open defecation
+ Strength tailored community approaches to total sanitation including Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in rural, peri-urban, and riverine settings
+ Strengthen national and subnational bodies’ capacity to develop and implement equitable and gender-sensitive WASH policies, strategizes and guidelines
+ Ensure sustainability of water services in rural communities
The battle against poor access to WASH is however a collective one, which begins with you and I, by avoiding water wastage, proper sanitation, and internal sensitization on its necessity