Nigeria gets over N101.5bn international water aid
• Not enough water and sanitation aid reaching Nigeria – WaterAid • More assistance needed – Minister
Nigeria has received international water and sanitation aid of $616.23m about N101.5bn between 2010 and 2012, a new WaterAid report has said.
“Just $1.26 has been received in water and sanitation aid for each person in Nigeria on average for the years 2010-2012,” notes a startling new report, Bridging the Divide, released by the international development charity WaterAid on the eve of World Water Day.
This is despite, 63.2 million people in Nigeria (39 per cent of the population) not having access to clean drinking water and 112.7 million (69 per cent of the population) going without basic access to sanitation.
The report argued that international water and sanitation aid failed to reach those in greatest need, exacerbating global inequalities rather than reducing them.
According to the report, Nigeria has received on average $205.41 million per year in water and sanitation aid, for the years 2010-2012.
Dr Michael Ojo, WaterAid Nigeria Country Representative said: “The stated aim of international aid is to help the world’s poor break out of poverty and to live healthy and productive lives - and to positively address our fundamentally unequal world. With nearly 100,000 children under the age of five dying every year in Nigeria because of a lack of access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation and hygiene; why is not more water and sanitation aid being targeted at those who are desperately waiting for these essential services in our country?”
Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe, in a recent meeting with United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Mr Jean Eliasson, asked the international committee for more assistance to enable the Federal Government meet its water obligation to Nigerians.
Ochekpe said that Nigeria was committed to surpassing the MDG water related target but added that the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibilities.
“In 2012 we were able to carry out a nationwide rehabilitation of over 1000 broken down boreholes and in this fiscal year, we shall also under the rehabilitation of another 1000 boreholes across the country,” she said.
The minister reiterated the determination of government to increase of more Nigerians to clean and safe water.
Over 330,000 people across the world, last week, took part in World Walks for Water and Sanitation events in solidarity with the hundreds of millions still forced to walk for water. The global mass movement, led by the campaign coalition, End Water Poverty, is demanding universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation.
Last week, WaterAid Nigeria organised a 7-km walk for water to help raise awareness about the continuing water and sanitation crisis in Nigeria, mobilising the voices of Nigerians and providing a platform for them to be heard. The walk was held in conjunction with various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Water Resources. The Minister for Water Resources was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Umar Baba Farouk.
The walk was attended by nearly 500 participants including the Ministry of Power, various youth groups, Oxfam, UNICEF, Ministry of Health, The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria and members of the National Assembly.
Despite globally 1 in 10 people lacking access to clean drinking water, and more than 1 in 3 without access to basic sanitation, most donors still allocate relatively low priority to aid spending to tackle this crisis, accounting in 2012 for just 6 per cent of overall donor aid.
In addition, much of the promised aid fails to be delivered. Over the past decade donors have failed – for reasons unclear – to pass on a third of the money they pledged to spend on water and sanitation aid, or US$27.6 billion out of the US$81.2 billion since 2002 that has been committed.
The WaterAid report comes ahead of crucial discussions at the World Bank in Washington in April (10-11) where the Sanitation and Water for All partnership will hold its third High-Level Meeting. Ministers from Nigeria alongside other developing and donor country Ministers will meet to discuss the water and sanitation crisis.
WaterAid Nigeria is calling for a dedicated goal on universal access to water and sanitation, as part of the new global post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals so that everyone, everywhere has access to these life giving necessities no later than 2030.
Children happily fetching water in a borehole in Tona, Dambatta LGA of Kano State.