By Justina Auta
Sightsavers Nigeria, an international development organisation, has reiterated its commitment to support Nigerian government improve access to safe water with a view to eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
This is contained in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday by the organisation’s Communication Associate, Ms Joy Tarbo, to mark the World Water Day.
She said: “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.
“Sightsavers through its various programmes and initiatives, including the Social Behaviour Change (SBC) interventions under the Facial Cleanliness and Environment strategy is ensuring that governments, ministries, department and agencies prioritise provision of safe water.”
She called on all Nigerians to take action to conserve water resources, promoting sustainable water management practices, and advocating for policies that prioritise water access for all.
Dr Sunday Isiyaku, the Country Director of the group, 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.
“This is important for the care and management of Neglected Yropical Diseases.”
Dr Teyil Mshelia, the Country Coordinator for Trachoma at Sightsavers, said safe drinking water, sanitation services were vital to treating and eliminating diseases like the NTDs.
“We often find that areas where there is a lack of access to safe water and sanitation are also hotspots for NTDs we treat like Trachoma – which shows how important it is that we accelerate change in this area.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Water Day is celebrated every March 22, to raise awareness about the global water crisis and promote sustainable water management practices.
The 2023 theme, “Valuing Water,” focuses on the true value of water and its importance in every aspect of life.
According to the World Health Organisation, 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. (NAN)