87% of Nigerians lack basic hygiene facilities

WaterAid, an organization of civil society in the European Union, reported that about 87 percent of Nigerians do not have basic hygiene facilities.

The organization disclosed the information through its program director Andy Omolerabi during the launch of the project on sanitation and water hygiene by the government of the State of Plateau at the Crest Hotel in Yose on Thursday.

Mr. Omolerabi also reported that about 60,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria were killed by diseases caused by a low level of people's access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

He said: "87 percent of Nigerians do not have basic hygiene facilities, and 60,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria have died from diseases caused by poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene of the nation,

He added that about 67 percent of Nigeria's population also lacked basic sanitation, and 26 percent had open defecation.

He further said that on the plateau, about 61 percent of the state's population currently lacks clean water, and 29 percent do not have access to a decent toilet and 54 percent of the defecation in the public domain.

"Without sufficient access to clean water and sanitation, it will be difficult for the state to fulfill its development goals, such as reducing maternity and child mortality, eradicating diseases caused by water and poor sanitation," he said.

He further explained that the reason that the state government and the Plateau government jointly supported the implementation of the Water Supply and Sanitation (WSSSRP) Program in the state was to improve the management of the sector and improve the services in the rural and urban areas of the centers.

Meanwhile, the government of the Plateau state during the event reported that it had allocated an amount of 550 million dollars. The US as a parallel funding to put an end to the problem of water scarcity, open defecation and lack of basic hygiene.

During the event, Governor Simon Lalong said that the state government is cooperating with the European Union to sponsor the project to provide access to clean water and open free defecation communities in the state.

Lalong, represented by the Water and Energy Commissioner, David Jafaru Uyep, said his administration will work around the clock to ensure that citizens of the state have access to clean, portable and hygienic water.

He said: "Today (Thursday) is only the official launch of the project, but from the funds that we paid about 700 wells, were built in rural areas, the EU played a big role in achieving this success,"

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