FG moves to scale up access to potable water, sanitation

THE Federal Government has put in place modalities to improve the water and sanitation needs of Nigerians by 2030.

The Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Mr Emmanuel Awe, said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the Inter-ministerial Meeting of the 2016 Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) Report.

He said such modalities included the Partnership for Extended Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) strategy and the National Road map on Elimination of Open Defecation by 2025.

He reiterated government’s commitment to closing access gaps towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 of scaling up access to water and sanitation by 2030.

He said the ministry has realised that meeting the SDGs on water and sanitation was only possible through improved finances and strategies.

He said the meeting was an avenue to deliberate on ways to make informed decisions for sanitation, drinking water and hygiene.

Awe said it would also increase the understanding of GLAAS processes through experience sharing among stakeholders for coherence and quality data collection.

“The GLAAS report is a UN-Water initiative implemented by the WHO to provide policy and decision-makers at all levels with a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis of the investments and enabling environment to make informed decisions for sanitation, drinking water and hygiene.

“With 2.4 billion people living without access to improved sanitation facilities, and nearly 700 million people not receiving their drinking water from improved water sources, GLAAS highlights where efforts stagnated, and what needs to be done,” he said.

Awe said with the implementation of SDGs, GLAAS would continue to provide information on investments and the enabling environment with a specific focus on monitoring Targets 6a and 6b.

Head of Governance, WaterAid Nigeria, Ms Tolani Busari, said it was important for Nigerians to realise that access to potable water is a fundamental human right, and not a privilege.

She said a lot needed to be done in areas of investing in quick wins that would enable the country meet its national and SDG targets on water and sanitation.

NAFDAC`s representative, Mrs Promise Ogbonna, said the agency was working with other stakeholders to ensure that standards were adhered to in the production of drinking water.

Contributing to the soon to be launched 2017 GLASS report, participants explained the great role effective data gathering plays in helping countries to plan for citizens` well being.

They said having accurate data helps in knowing what a section of the society needs, what is lacking and what could be done to improve their livelihood.

NAN recalls that conclusions from the 2014 UN-Water GLAAS) report, implemented by WHO and published biennially, point to strong political commitments around the world.

The report says national policies are largely in place, with over 80 per cent of the countries reporting to have approved national policies for drinking water and sanitation, and 75 per cent having policies for hygiene.

However, despite strong political support, data unveiled weak national capacity to execute WASH plans; only 20 per cent of countries surveyed have national WASH plans that are being fully implemented.