Makena Bodzianowski Country: Nigeria
Clean water remains a vital resource to sustain life, but many impoverished countries struggle to even provide this basic human right. The lack of water contributes to waterborne diseases, agricultural struggles, and low level school enrollment, especially among girls, as it does in Nigeria. Simply because of poor water management, millions of people will suffer and die each year. In order to put an end to these preventable deaths, countries would have to cooperate and work to provide water globally. The UN has already established clean water as a human right and included access to clean and sanitized water as number 6 in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. With the international community working to preserve and expand water access, surely struggling countries like Nigeria will be able to find sustainability.
For Nigeria, maintaining access to clean water is a constant tribulation. Only 30% of the population in northern Nigeria has access to safe and sanitized drinking water. In 2015, only 67% of the population had a basic water supply, and only 33% had access to basic sanitation; this left 60 million people without water and 122 million without safe water. In some regions, like the Niger Delta make gaining water a feat as the residents are either forced to purchase water at ridiculously high prices or drink from Benzene contaminated wells. Nigeria lacks in both access to water, work force, and the funds to fix this issue. Water production facilities in our country run inefficient operations due to the lack of proper equipment and fuel for functionality. The poorly maintained pipes often leak and make way for high levels of non-revenue water. Fixing the facilities’ quality would bring Nigeria one step closer to achieving the 6th goal in the Sustainable Development Goals, but funding poses as a large obstacle. To achieve the goal by 2030, Nigeria will be required to triple its budget or at least allocate 1.7 percent of the current Gross Domestic Product to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).
Eager to better the lives of both its people and other struggling nations, Nigeria proposes a continued cooperation with other nations and organizations. For short term resolutions, more wealthy and water prosperous countries should support the underdeveloped countries and provide funding and water. Partnerships with other countries would be a necessity and collaboration with UNICEF and USAID to support the WASH movement is essential. Underdeveloped countries should have an increase in effort put into NGOs focused on clean water like Nigeria’s Society of Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN). With this global support, Nigeria is looking forward to a future where water is an easily achievable resource that doesn’t cause suffering or fatalities
- Makena Bodzianowski