#UNICEF: 86% Of Nigerian Schools Lack Access To Water, Sanitation Services

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United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said its records indicated 86 percent of schools in Nigeria lacked access to clean water and other sanitation services that would, expectedly, improved their health and protect them from epidemics.

The UN agency’s record also indicated only seven percent of health facilities in Nigeria have access to basic water supply and other sanitation services, while 14 percent of markets and motor parks have access to basic water supply and sanitation services.

Manager, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), UNICEF Maiduguri, Borno State, Mamita Thakkar, who presented the report at a media dialogue in Maiduguri, as part of activities to mark the 2021 World Toilet Day, said the issue of hygiene should be given serious attention by the government and other stakeholders.

She said poor WASH services has had devastating impact on the economy, health, education and total well-being of Nigerians, especially children who are exposed to some of the epidemics that claim their lives before they reach the age of five.

On the economy, she said Nigeria losses 1.3 percent (N455 billion) of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually to poor access sanitation, while on health, she said estimated 102,000 children under the age of five die of diarrhoea, and about 90 percent is directly attributed to unsafe water and sanitation.

She said poor WASH services has also had negative impact on child development, stating that one in four children under the age of five exhibit severe stunting, while one in 10 is wasted due to frequent episode of diarrhoea and other WASH related ailments.

“Frequent episode of WASH related ailments causes absence from school or work, as affected people takes time off work or school to heal, thereby, affecting their productivity.

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