The lack of state-owned pipe-borne water in the homes of Lagos residents has continued to be a source of concern, a non-profit group, Corporate Accountability and Public Advocacy Africa (CAPPA) has said.
At a press event to mark this year’s World Water Day, the group said its monitoring team’s visit to state-owned waterworks showed that most of them are not operational.
The group said the waterworks it visited include the ones at Maryland, Mushin, Ikorodu, Obalende, Agbowa, Onikan, Ikoyi, and Amuwo Odofin.
Only the one in Ikoyi is producing water, according to CAPPA.
The Lagos Water Corporation press and public relations office did not respond to requests for comments.
World Way Day is celebrated every March 22 and the theme for this year’s United Nations World Water Day is ‘Valuing Water.’
“Valuing Water, the theme for the year specifically recognizes the crucial role of healthy ecosystems in maintaining water supplies around the world,” said CAPPA’s executive director, Akinbode Oluwafemi.
“The United Nations reminds governments that the value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics, and the integrity of our natural environment.
“If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource,” he said.
Mr Oluwafemi urged the Lagos State government to convene an emergency session on the water crisis in the state, adding that the government should show seriousness in addressing the water challenge.
“The Lagos State Government should reject all forms of water privatization and commodification and fully uphold the human right to water as an obligation of the government, representing the people.
“The government must build a political will to prioritize water for citizens, leading to a comprehensive plan that invests in water infrastructure necessary to provide universal water access, jobs, improved public health, and invigoration of the Lagos economy,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier published a report by CAPPA on how acute water shortage may jeopardise COVID-19 Response in Lagos and Nigeria.
About one year after the report, the water crisis has persisted, the group said.
Aderonke Ige, the Director of Programmes, CAPPA, said the water infrastructure across Lagos state is begging for attention.
She said residents, especially women and girls are suffering from the dire water situation.
“Today, we are marking the world water day and we cannot say we have made improvements.”
She said low and middle-range communities visited “groan in lack of water with no recourse in view.”
Meanwhile, Sylvester Ejiofor, a unionist who was also at the event, said there is a need to take the campaign for clean and potable water beyond World Water days.
“60 years of independence is enough time to say that we have done well with water but it is not so. Water is a right and it cannot be a right when it is made a commercial venture.
“Water infrastructure has collapsed and the government is doing little or nothing about it. Borehole and sewage in every compound is unsafe water which is bad for the health,” Mr Ejiofor said.
He urged the Nigerian government to begin taking actions on making potable and safe water available for its citizens.
The group also called on the government to revitalise the water sector and jettison the idea of privatising water either at the state or federal level.
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