In commemoration of World Water Day today (March 22, 2023), an international development organization, Sightsavers Nigeria has called for universal access to clean water as it plays a vital role in eradicating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
Sightsavers Nigeria urged Nigerians to conserve water resources, promote sustainable water management practices and advocate for policies that prioritise water access for all.
According to the country coordinator for trachoma at Sightsavers, Dr. Teyil Wamyil-Mshelia areas with inadequate safe water and sanitation services are usually hotspots for neglected tropical diseases such as Trachoma, highlighting the importance of improving access to clean water.
“It is important,” she said “that we make sure there is safe water for everyone. As well as the need for safe drinking water, sanitation services are vital to treating and eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We often find that areas where there is a lack of access to safe water and sanitation are also hotspots for neglected tropical diseases we treat like trachoma – which shows how important it is that we accelerate change in this area
The World Health Organisation revealed that more than 2.2 billion people globally lack safe drinking water, leading to the spread of waterborne diseases. In Nigeria, about 60 million people lack access to safe water sources, hindering socio-economic development and causing numerous health challenges.
To address this, Sightsavers Nigeria partners with communities, governments and other stakeholders to implement sustainable water supply and sanitation projects.
A statement by Sightsavers communications associate, Joy Tarbo, said through its various programmes and initiatives – including the Social Behaviour Change (SBC) interventions under the facial cleanliness and environment strategy – is ensuring that government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) prioritise provision of safe water to areas of high need, especially in states like Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and other states across the country.
Also, the organisation collaborates with governments and other stakeholders to prioritise access to safe water and sanitation in areas of high need.
The country director for Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku stressed the importance of access to safe water and sanitation services for the care and management of neglected tropical diseases.