1.8 billion people use contaminated water – UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Wednesday called on various stakeholders to intensify action towards making portable water accessible to the larger global population.
This is as the Water, Sanitation and Health, WASH specialist, of the UNICEF, Mr. Amose Kudzala, has disclosed that over billion people globally lack access to clean drinking.
He disclosed that such a big population depended on water contaminated with faeces and other dangerous substances, thereby putting their lives in jeopardy.
Kudzala, who is also the UNICEF Chief of Field, Enugu made this known in an address on Wednesday at the 2017 Zonal Media Breakfast, as part of activities to mark the World Water Day.
He noted that access to clean water and sanitation was prerequisite for healthy human living.
While harping on accessibility, he stressed on the need for recycling of already used water after it had undergone series of treatment processes.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Water Day celebration, which is “Why Waste Water,” the Managing Director of Enugu State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, ENRUWASSA, Dr. Frank Okenwa Omeje, noted that globally, vast majority of all the waste water from homes, cities, industries and Agricultural flowed back to nature untreated or reused, thereby polluting water sources for drinking and other uses.
Omeje said that this year’s World Water Day was about reducing and reusing waste water, pointing out that it was generally geared towards tackling the global water crisis.
“Today, there are over 66.3 million people living without a safe water supply close to their homes, spending countless hours queing or trekking long distances for sources and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water,” he lamented.
To tackle this dearth of usable water, the ENRUWASSA boss said that his agency was preoccupied with ensuring that all rural communities were provided with portable water.
He noted that with the commitment of the present government in Enugu State, they would make sure that water problems were addressed.
Omeje pointed out that it was important that all the existing water projects be rehabilitated rather than embarking on new ones.
Earlier, while explaining the reason for organising the media breakfast in commemoration of the 2017 World Water Day celebration, the Unicef Communication Officer in the area, Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, said that as partners in progress, the media needed accurate and update information on the activities of UNICEF in order to champion advocacy for improved safe water.
Onuoha also explained that UNICEF used the opportunity created by the World Water Day to make public the importance of water and need for increased stakeholders’ commitment towards the provision of adequate usable water.