The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, on Tuesday said about 48 million Nigerians are still defecating in the open despite the federal government’s effort to end the practice in the country,
The minister, who was speaking at the launch of the 2021 edition of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping III (WASHNORM III) report yesterday in Abuja, blamed state governments for the water crisis across the country.
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He, however, expressed optimism that the 2025 target of ending open defecation in the country was still achievable, saying very soon two states would be officially declared open defecation-free.
The minister insisted that it was the duty of the state governments to provide potable water for households, regretting however that most of them had abandoned such responsibility and were not always forthcoming even when the ministry invited them for collaborative programmes.
The minister said the most common sources of drinking water of households were boreholes and tube wells used by 37 per cent of the households, while only 11 per cent of the households used pipe-borne water and only four per cent used water piped into their premises.
According to the minister, the report also indicates that about a quarter of the Nigerian population still depends on unimproved and surface water supply.
Development partners, as well as the Minister of State for Health, Olorunbe Mamora, commended the ministry for the report, which they said was needed for development plans in the sector.