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World Water Day: About 1.8 Billion People Globally Lack Access To Clean Water, Says UNICEF

By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef,  has hinted that about one billion people globally do not have access to clean drinking water, but instead consumes water contaminated with faeces.

Such development according to the international Agency, has put the lives of the people in jeopardy.

The Wash specialist and officer in charge of UNICEF Enugu field office, Mr. Amose Kudzala, made this known in Enugu during the 2017 South-East Zonal Media Breakfast on World Water Day celebration.

Kudzala, noted that access to clean water and sanitation was prerequisite for healthy human living that has direct impact on the well-being of the people across the globe.

He pointed out that it was because of the need for healthy drinking water that used water is now being recycled for use again after it has undergone series of treatment processes.

In her presentation, the  Communication Officer,  UNICEF Field office Enugu, Mrs. Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, explained that as partners in progress, the media need accurate and update information on the activities of the organization in order to champion advocacy for improved safe water.

She said it is against that backdrop that UNICEF deemed it necessary to put together the “media breakfast in commemoration of the 2017 World Water Day celebration.

Mrs. Ogwe, also stressed 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.

The UNICEF communication officer, also used the forum to call on the media to always report issues concerning children with passion, adding that millions of them in parts of Nigeria are facing different forms of challenge, which are not reported.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Water Day celebration which is “Why Waste Water”, 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 flow 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.

He said: “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 stated that his organisation is preoccupied with ensuring that all rural communities are provided with portable water.

He noted that with more funds provided his organisation, they would make sure that water problems are taken care of.

Omeje pointed out that it was important that all the existing water projects be rehabilitated rather than embarking on new ones.

 

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