President Buhari Declares State Of Emergency On Water, Sanitation
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared a state of emergency on the nation’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector.
This was announced at the inauguration of the National Action Plan for Revitalisation of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector at State House Conference Centre in Abuja on Thursday.
The President, in his explanation, stated that the declaration became imperative to reduce the high-prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country, which has caused preventable deaths.
He said: “The Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs) targets (6.1 & 6.2) for WASH are even more demanding as they require WASH services to be provided in adequate quantity and quality on premises at affordable prices.”
“This cannot be achieved if we continue with ‘a business as usual’ approach. It is on this premise that I fully endorse the decision taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in April this year to declare ‘a State of Emergency on our WASH Sector,” he added.
President Buhari said statistics on open defecation, access to piped water services and sanitation in the country was disturbing.
He, however, warned that henceforth, the Federal Government support to state governments would be based on their commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan in their respective states and to end open defecation by 2025.
“Access to piped water services which was 32 per cent in 1990 has declined to seven per cent in 2015; access to improved sanitation has also decreased from 38 per cent in 1990 to 29 per cent in 2015,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Mr Femi Adesina.
He added, “Our country now ranks No 2 in the global rating on Open Defecation as about 25 per cent of our population are practicing open defecation.”
“WASH services at the rural areas are unsustainable as 46 per cent of all water schemes are non-functional, and the share of our spending on WASH sector has been declining from 0.70 per cent of the GDP in 1990 to about 0.27 per cent in 2015, which is far below the 0.70 per cent at the West African regional level.”