To observe the 2023 World Water Day, an International Development Organisation, Sightsavers Nigeria, has advocates for the need to provide and make accessible clean and safety water for every citizen in the country.
Sightsavers Nigeria, in a statement by its Communications 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.
Tarbo said: “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.”
Meanwhile, Dr Teyil Wamyil-Mshelia, Country Coordinator for trachoma at Sightsavers said: “It is important that we make sure there is safe water for everyone. As well as the need for safe drinking water, sanitation services are vital to treating and eliminating diseases like the Neglected Tropical disease.
“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”.
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.
Wamyil-Mshelia added, “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.”
Reacting on the importance of clean water access, Country Director, Sightsavers, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, said, “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 in these areas, this is important for the care and management of neglected tropical diseases.”