Abuja, Nigeria. March 26th, 2020 – In commemoration of World Water Day, which holds on the 22nd of March every year, NOIPolls conducted a public opinion poll on access to clean water. The poll explored the accessibility of water to Nigerians, the quality and treatment of drinking water and challenges faced in accessing clean water.
The poll revealed that sachet water popularly known as pure water is the main source of drinking water for Nigerians while borehole is the main source of water for household use in the country. It is important to state that it is the responsibility of the government to provide water to all its citizenry through the Ministry of Water Resources. However, the poll revealed that most Nigerians provide their own water. It is important to note that these sources of water, if not properly treated, can put Nigerians at risk of pathogens such as E-coli which cause diarrhoeal diseases and other water-borne diseases.
More findings showed that 64 percent of respondents (except for those whose only source of drinking water is sachet and bottled water) do not treat the water in any way before drinking irrespective of the source. However, 36 percent claimed that they treat their water mostly by boiling (40 percent) before drinking. With regard to access to clean water, 39 percent of Nigerians disclosed that they face challenges in accessing clean water in their respective households. According to the World Bank, accessing clean water is a major factor in reducing child mortality. For instance, more than 70,000 children under five years die annually as a result of water-borne disease.
Therefore, in order to meet the 6th Goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, government at all levels needs to urgently work towards the provision of improved quality of water and water sources to the citizenry. Finally, though the provision of water supply is capital intensive, it is still a necessity for the well-being of Nigerians. Therefore, Public-Private-Partnership programs should be encouraged to attract investors in order to ensure adequate production, distribution, and sale of potable water to all. These are some of the key findings from the Access To Water Poll conducted in the week commencing March 16th, 2020.
World Water Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the gift of water to mankind and to also raise awareness regarding the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water for drinking and household use. It is also a day to inspire stakeholders and governments in various countries to take action in order to tackle the global water crisis affecting the teeming populations of people around the world. A core focus of World Water Day, however, is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
World Water Day 2020 is about water and climate change and how the two are inextricably linked and the campaign shows how our use of water will help reduce floods, droughts, scarcity, and pollution, and will help fight climate change itself. More so, by adapting to the water effects of climate change, we will protect health and save lives. And, by using water more efficiently, we will reduce greenhouse gases. However, the key messages for the water day 2020 are that people cannot afford to wait, climate policymakers must put water at the heart of action plans as water can help fight climate change. There are sustainable, affordable and scalable water and sanitation solutions and everyone has a role to play.
Statistics have shown that 1 in 3 people around the world lives without safe drinking water and by 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year and climate-resilient water supply and sanitation could save the lives of more than 360,000 infants every year. Also, if global warming is limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it could cut climate-induced water stress by up to 50%. Extreme weather has caused more than 90% of major disasters over the last decade. In Nigeria however, statistics have shown that 55 million Nigerians do not have clean water and 60, 000 children under 5 years die every year from water-related illnesses. Against this backdrop and in commemoration of the day, NOIPolls conducted this survey in commemoration of World Water Day to gauge the perception of Nigerians regarding their access to water.