From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Mission Director of the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), Stephen M. Haykin has said over 57 million Nigerians have no access to potable water.
In his remarks, yesterday, on the occasion of the official launch of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Kaduna, Haykin said one million Nigerian children die yearly for lack of access to drinkable water.
To this end, he said USAID is supporting the programme with $2.5 million, to enable Nigerians have access to potable water.
“Having clean water and sanitation is very essential for the development of a healthy society,” he said.
Earlier, WASH project coordinator, Timeyin Uwejamomere, said the project is expected to last for two years, ending in November 2018, and added that it will primarily target urban areas and focus on Bauchi and Kaduna state.
Uwejamomere said this was because the respective state governments have demonstrated firm commitment to the water sector.
“This was why we established a country office in Kaduna and, last month, a satellite office was opened in Bauchi.
“The programme will strengthen institutions as well as research and knowledge management to support urban water, sanitation and hygiene.”
In his speech on the occasion, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said when the Zaria water works is completed, it will provide 150 million litres of water for the populace.
El-Rufai was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mallam Bashir Saidu.
Also, Bauchi Governor, Mohammed Abubakar regretted that the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state has increased the demand for water at the expense of original supply.
Abubakar pledged the commitment and political will of his government to ensure the success of the project.