The Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers (NIWE) says Nigeria is not on the track to achieving the Social Development Goal (SDG) 6 on clean water and sanitation.
This, the body blamed on the declining investment in the water sector, low capacity development and utilisation in the areas of technical competence, system optimisation, the insufficient share of renewable energy, low operational standards in State Water Agencies (SWAs), ageing staff and lack of succession planning.
The National Chairman of NIWE, Adeyinka Sobowale, said this on Wednesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at a press conference organised to commemorate this year’s World Water Day with the theme, “Accelerating Change.”
Sobowale, who was flanked by the NIWE National Programme Coordinator, Temitope Aboyeji, and the chairman of the Abeokuta chapter, Abiodun Oyerinde, noted that although the world was facing huge water and sanitation crisis, the challenges were worse in Nigeria.
He lamented that over 170 million Nigerians lacked access to safely managed drinking water services.
He also expressed worry over groundwater being consumed by Nigerians.
Sobowale called on government at all levels to rethink strategies of meeting SDG 6 by putting in a total commitment to ensure the goals were pursued with passion for the wellbeing of Nigerians.
“A water and sanitation fund (WASHFUND) should be established as a matter of urgency, which can be accessed by the SWAs that are performing,” he said.