A United Nation agency, UNICEF has on Wednesday revealed that Boko Haram terrorists have destroyed 75 per cent of the water infrastructure in the Northeastern part of Nigeria.
Mr Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, stated this at the beginning of the World Water Week, adding that 3.6 million people have been denied access to safe water in the northeast.
According to him, “in conflict-affected areas in northeast Nigeria, 75 per cent of water and sanitation infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, leaving 3.6 million people without even basic water services.
“In far too many cases, water and sanitation systems have been attacked, damaged or left in disrepair to the point of collapse.
“When children have no safe water to drink, and when health systems are left in ruins, malnutrition and potentially fatal diseases like cholera will inevitably follow.
“In famine-threatened north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, nearly 30 million people, including 14.6 million children, are in urgent need of safe water.
“More than five million children are estimated to be malnourished this year, with 1.4 million severely so.”
READ ALSO: Those behind Igbo quit notice must be prosecuted – UN
He added that in South Sudan, where fighting has raged for over three years, almost half the water points across the country have been damaged or completely destroyed.
He said in countries beset by violence, displacement, conflict and instability, children’s most basic means of survival, water must be a priority.
Wijesekera warned that children living in fragile situations were four times more likely to lack access to drinking water.
“Children’s access to safe water and sanitation, especially in conflicts and emergencies, is a right, not a privilege” Wijesekera said.
More than 180 million people in crisis-torn countries have no access to drinking water, the UNICEF official revealed.