Climate change aggravating sanitation crisis in Nigeria says WaterAid

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By:Bamidele Fashube

Climate change is aggravating Nigeria’s sanitation crisis,WaterAid a Non- Governmental Organisation(NGO) has reported.

It said extreme weather such as floods, rising temperatures, prolonged droughts are causing irreparable damage to weak sanitation systems and causing illnesses to spread further in vulnerable communities.

In a press release issued by the organization to mark the World toilet day’s celebration, it said about 112 million people still do not have access to a private toilet, while 46 million still practices open defecation.

According to WaterAid, an estimated 250,000 additional deaths per year are predicted between 2030 and 2050 due to climate change adding that many of these deaths will be linked to poor sanitation.

“Poor sanitation impacts the entire country – it is estimated that Nigeria loses 1.3% of its GDP annually due to poor sanitation.

“Where decent toilets are lacking, human faeces can contaminate the groundwater or end up in rivers and lakes, polluting what is often the only supply of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

“Children play on ground rife with pathogens and as a result of faecal contamination, whole communities can contract diarrhoeal diseases,”it stated.

To this end, the organization calls for urgent action from the Nigerian government and the international community to increase investment in sanitation services.

It noted a $20 billion annual funding gap for WASH in Nigeria to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2030 saying:”It is clear that there will need to be a significant upscaling of resourcing over the next decade if the National WASH Action Plan is going to create real results for the people of Nigeria.”

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