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768m Nigerians lack safe drinking water – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s’ Fund on Friday said no fewer than 768 million Nigerians lacked access to safe drinking water

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Geoffrey Njoku, Head, Media and External Relations, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

The statement reported Ms. Jean Gough, Country Representative, as saying that this was the leading cause of death in thousands of children.

It said 1,400 children under five died each day from causes linked to lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene globally.

“Most of these people without access are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums,” Gough said.

According to UNICEF estimates, globally no fewer than 1,400 under-five children die every day from diarrhoea diseases linked to lack of safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.

The statement also cited the 2013 Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey published in 2013 by the National Bureau of Statistics, which showed that nearly 70 million Nigerians lacked access to safe water in 2011.

The statement placed Nigeria as the third country globally with most people without access to safe water.

Gough said with support from the EU and UKAid, over 1.9 million people in rural areas had gained access to safe water in its Water and Sanitation Hygiene schools’ programme.

This, the statement said, would strengthen capacities on appropriate choice of technology for water supply.

“UNICEF is bringing safe water to families living in some of the most under-served areas in over 20 states.”

“Through appropriate technologies that do not rely on electricity, water facilities that are easy to operate and maintain a greater number of disadvantaged people can be provided with safe water .

“Every child in Nigeria deserves access to safe water and thereby, a chance to survive and thrive,’’ it said.

NAN reports that UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child.

Together with its partners, it works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable.

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