THE United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said that no fewer than 1,400 children under the age of five die daily from causes linked to lack of safe water and poor hygiene globally.
The international organisation, which made this known yesterday through a press statement made available to The Guardian, felt sad that "A staggering 768 million people still don't have "access to safe drinking water."
According to UNICEF, the situation has continued to cause "hundreds of thousands of children to fall sick and die each year." Most of those caught in the web of this sad incident, according to UNICEF, "are poor people liv- ing in remote rural areas or urban slums."
The release, which was signed by the UNICEF Representative, Jean Gough, frowned at what it described as the lukewarm attitude of the authorities to- wards making clean water available to the people, especially those domiciling in the rural areas.
"Almost four years after the world met the global target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water is a human right, over three quarters of a billion people, globally, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity," the statement read. '
The statement, which was in commemoration of the World Water Day staged globally at the weekend, observed that Nigeria is not an exception as the people have continued to go cap in hands seeking for safe drinking water.
Nigeria, as further made known by UNICEF, ranks third globally among the countries still searching for safe drinking water. "According to the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey published in 2013 by the National Bureau of Statistic, nearly 70 million Nigerians did not have access to safe water in 20ll. They are also often the ones without access to electricity."
The negative effects of the foregoing tale, UNICEF noted, lead to incessant deaths of children under five from diarrhoea diseases.
UNICEF, however, vowed not to be deterred by the attitude of persons in positions of authorities towards providing the much needed safe drinking water to the people, stating that "With funding provided by EU and UKAid, UNICEF and partners gave access to safe water to over 1.9 million people in rural areas."
Reiterating that "Every child in Nigeria deserves access to safe water and thereby a chance to survival and thrive" UNICEF, according to Gough, would continue "strengthening capacity on appropriate choice of technology for water supply."
By Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
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