5m In Dire Need Of Water, Others In Borno, Adamawa, Yobe

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The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector coordinator for North East, Mr Francois Bellet has claimed that over five million people comprising internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and the host communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states are still in need of water, sanitation and hygiene.

Bellet made the revelation yesterday at a ceremony organised by the WASH sector in collaboration with the Borno State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) to mark the 2024 World Water Day, held in Maiduguri, the state capital.

He said in 2023, about 1.6 million persons in Borno State were assisted with WASH, noting that from humanitarian perspective, safe drinking water is key to addressing acute vulnerability towards preventing vicious circle like malnutrition, and to ensure that women and girls do not go far to fetch water.

“Water is a key component of hygiene formation. So let’s celebrate World Water Day with the theme: ‘Water for Peace’, ‘Water No Get Enemy’ and ‘Water Beyond Borders’”, he said.

In his keynote address, the general manager RUWASSA, Engr Mohammed Musa Aliyu, said the theme of this year’s World Water Day , ” Water for Peace”, resonates deeply with the challenges and triumphs witnessed so far, noting that throughout the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency, Borno State endured immense destruction of water facilities, amounting to billions of naira in losses.

He said in response, the Borno State government under the visionary leadership of Babagana Umara Zulum took a decisive action to restore water access by constructing waterworks and energy- efficient boreholes for domestic and agricultural use thereby, addressing food and general insecurity as evidenced by several irrigation schemes spanning thousands of hectares across the state.

Represented by the director administration, Hajiya Hauwa Anas , the RUWASSA boss , said already several communities have started regaining their means of livelihood through farming thereby becoming more peaceful and productive.

In her remarks, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund ( UNICEF  ) Chief of Borno Field Office, Phuong Nguyen, urged the gathering to  consider for a moment the role that water plays in people’s daily lives.

“It is the cornerstone of our hygiene, our health, and our sustenance. From bathing to drinking, cooking to cleaning, water is indispensable. Access to clean water is not just a privilege; it is a fundamental human right. Any threat to this right is a threat to peace. Cooperation in the management and protection of our water resources is therefore essential for the well-being of all.

“Whether it’s ensuring access to safe drinking water or supporting agricultural endeavors, water is a prerequisite for human survival and development. Water is more than just a resource; it is a tool for fostering harmony and stability. Ensuring reliable access to water is paramount for peaceful coexistence in our communities, especially in regions like our own, where resources may be scarce,” she said.

 



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