50 million Nigerians lack access to potable water – Minister

50 million Nigerians lack access to potable water – Minister
May 25 19:04 2016

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu has said that about 50 million Nigerians lack access to potable water.

Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja, Adamu said  the country was not able to achieve its 2015 target of 75% coverage for water supply and the percentage for sanitation.

“That is part of issue we are putting in the document we presented to the President, you know we subscribe to the Millennium Development Goals by last year 2015 we were supposed to have achieved 75% coverage for water supply and a certain percentage for sanitation, unfortunately we were not able to meet that.

“We met the water supply by only 69% but we did very poorly in sanitation, so this 69% means over 50 million Nigerians still don’t have access to potable water and that is a huge number of people.

“So we have come up with a programme which we are going to unveil in detail at the National Council on Water Resources meeting next week. That programme is aimed at ensuring we are now able to meet the SDG target for 2030 and there will be 100 percent access for everybody,” the minister said.

He said that the Ministry has come up with a huge programme that will help to cover those gaps.

The programme, he said was part of the package presented to President Buhari on Wednesday.

He also disclosed that the Ministry’s national water resources master plan is to identify all the key issues and projects that the ministry should undertake between now and 2030.

He continued: “So we x-rayed that masterplan we dissect it and came up with some specific interventions that we think will take the water resources sub sector to a more robust level by the year 2030.

“So essentially that is what we came to do, at the initial stage when we were appointed we had a retreat in December 2015 where we came up with some specific action plans and we kept on developing them and got them to operate, now we are in a position now to inform Mr President this is what we are doing and to seek his blessing. That is why we are here.”

According to him, the structure of the ministry was also looked into towards making it more effective in the discharge of its duties.

“We also looked at some institutional issues like the national water policy which had been in existence though in draft form, the national water bill which has also been in draft form for more than ten years and not much work had been done.

“So we dusted all these things because for us to take the water resources sector where we want it to go or where it should go, these institutional issues and legal frameworks need to be in place.

“So if those things are ready, it can help in the other interventions or other programmes that we planned which includes the national water supply and sanitation programme and the national irrigation programme.” He stated

He said that some of the programmes had been projected for four years and others five years up to the year 2030.

“I had my marching order on 11th of November when I was sworn-in. What we are doing is just to fulfill the marching order. At the end of the day we want to see that water resources sector is doing what it is supposed to do.

“We have coverage of water supply and sanitation. We want to meet the SDG goals before 2030. We need to meet the target for open defecation by 2025 because we have subscribed to that, these are some of the targets.

“The President welcomed our presentation and he said he is looking forward to it. Now we have to break it down into specific actions, seek specific approvals and he is waiting anxiously to hear,” he added.