26.5m children lack access to water in Nigeria – UNICEF | Ripples Nigeria
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26.5m children lack access to water in Nigeria – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday at least 26.5 million children in Nigeria do not have enough water to meet their daily needs and are experiencing high or extremely high water vulnerability.

The UNICEF stated this in a statement issued by its Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, to commemorate the 2021 World Water Day.

The World Water Day is marked on March 22 every year.

According to the organisation, more than 1.42 billion people – including 450 million children – are living in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability.

The report noted that one in five children worldwide lacks water to meet their everyday needs.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 lockdowns threaten mental health of 332m children — UNICEF

The analysis is part of the Water Security For All Initiative and identifies areas where water scarcity overlap with poor water service levels.

UNICEF said: “The world’s water crisis is not coming – it is here, and children are its biggest victims.

“When wells dry up, children are the ones missing school to fetch water. When droughts diminish food supplies, children suffer from malnutrition and stunting.

“When floods hit, children fall ill from waterborne illnesses. And when water is not available in Nigerian communities, children cannot wash their hands to fight off diseases.”

The report added that children in more than 80 countries live in areas with high or extremely high water vulnerability with Eastern and Southern Africa with the highest proportion.

The two regions were followed by West and Central Africa (31 percent), South Asia (25 percent), and the Middle East (23 percent).

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