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FACT CHECK: Buhari says projects by his govt have increased access to portable water to 71%. True or false?

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Enugu gets $50m in grants to end water scarcity

Claim
“The water projects we completed between 2015 to 2020 have improved Nigeria’s access to potable water to 71% between 2015 and 2020. This means 12.5 million additional Nigerians now have direct access to potable water” —Muhammadu Buhari, October 1.

Conclusion
False. Buhari’s claim of 71% of Nigerians having access to portable water is close to the truth. However, the 71% having access is not as a result of government’s projects, but through efforts of private individuals and NGOs.

Nigerians’ access to basic drinking water has increased to 70% and not 71% according to the 2019 Nationwide survey conducted by the United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) In collaboration with the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

However, the government’s efforts to attain this reach is below average with 70 percent of the water facilities available constructed by private individuals and non governmental organisations.

Full text
One of the highlights from President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2021 Independence speech aside lifting the ban on Twitter with conditions was the access to potable drinking water.

The president in his statement made it clear that the current accessibility to potable water in Nigeria was as a result of his administration’s effort to liberate Nigerians and ensure the country keeps up with the SDG goals.

He said: “The water projects we completed between 2015 to 2020 have improved Nigeria’s access to potable water to 71% between 2015 and 2020. This means 12.5 million additional Nigerians now have direct access to potable water.”

Read also: FACT CHECK: Is Nigerian govt disbursing ₦150,000 to citizens for youth empowerment?

Verification
The 2019 WASH NORM (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping) report by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources was the latest published data by UNICEF and no other update was found on NBS.

The WASH NORM survey was first conducted in 2018 and Nigerians’ access to portable water was 68% and in 2019 it increased by 2% making to 70%.

As of 2019, the Nigerian population was estimated at 201million. This means that as at 2019 when the WASH NORM survey was done, a total of 140.7million Nigerians had access to basic drinking water in Nigeria.

Also as of 2018, the Nigeria population was 195.9 million. This means 68% having access to water was 132.6 million Nigerians.

The increment in the number of people that have access to water within 2018 and 2019 was 8.1 million Nigerians. This is against the 12.5 million Nigerians quoted by the president.

The 2019 WASH NORM also noted that there are 2.04 million of estimated water facilities in the country. 70 percent of the water facilities are constructed by non-government actors (individuals and non-governmental foundations) of which 64 percent are for private individuals.

This statement indicated that only 30 percent of the 2.04 million which is 612,000 water facilities in the country was done by the government.

FACT CHECK: Buhari says projects by his govt has increased Nigerians' access to portable water to 70%. True or false?

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