By Palma Ileye
In commemoration of the 2023 World Water Day, an International Development Organisation, Sightsavers Nigeria, has called for the need to provide and make accessible clean and safety water for every citizen in the country.
In a press release issued yesterday by Sightsavers Nigeria, Communication Associate, Joy Tarbo to commemorate the Day with the theme “Valuing Water,” highlighted the importance of clean water access and its impact on eliminating neglected tropical diseases, NTDs.
The organisation called on all Nigerians to join the fight for clean water access by taking action to conserve water resources, promote sustainable water management practices, and advocating for policies that prioritize water access for all.
Speaking on the provision, accessibility of clean and safe water, Country Coordinator for Trachoma at Sightsavers, Dr Teyil Wamyil-Mshelia said that it was important to make provision and ensure that there was safe water for everyone.
Mshelia harped on the need for safe drinking water as well as sanitation services noting that they were vital to treating and eliminating diseases like the Neglected Tropical disease.
Adding that, “We often find that areas where there is a lack of access to safe water and sanitation, are also hotspots for neglected tropical diseases we treat like Trachoma- which shows how important it is that we accelerate change in this area”.
Commenting on the importance of clean water access, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, the Country Director for Sightsavers Nigeria, said that sustaining the gains made towards the elimination of neglected tropical diseases can only be maintained through accelerated efforts to improve access to safe water and sanitation services stressing that, “in these areas, this is important for the care and management of neglected tropical diseases.”
“Sightsavers is actively involved in pushing for the attainment of the national WASH objectives for Nigeria one of which is universal access to safe water.
“Sightsavers Nigeria, an international development organization, joins the world in commemorating World Water Day on Wednesday, 22 March by highlighting the importance of clean water access and its impact on eliminating neglected tropical diseases, NTDs.
“We are calling on all Nigerians to join the fight for clean water access by taking action to conserve water resources, promoting sustainable water management practices, and advocating for policies that prioritize water access for all,” the statement read.
It continued, “World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on March 22 to raise awareness about the global water crisis and promote sustainable water management practices with this year’s theme, “Valuing Water,” which focuses on the true value of water and its importance in every aspect of life.
“According to the World Health Organization, over 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water globally, which is a major contributor to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and diarrhoea.
“In Nigeria, approximately 60 million people lack access to safe water sources, leading to numerous health challenges and impeding socio-economic development.
“Sightsavers Nigeria is committed to ensuring that all Nigerians have access to clean water by partnering with communities, governments, and other stakeholders to implement sustainable water supply and sanitation projects.
“As a stakeholder in the WASH sector, Sightsavers through its various programmes and initiatives including the Social Behaviour Change, SBC, interventions under the Facial Cleanliness & Environment strategy is ensuring that governments, ministries department and agencies prioritise provision of safe water to areas of high need especially in states like Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and other states across the country where Sightsavers continues to work with governments and other stakeholders to prioritise access to safe water and sanitation.”