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Millions Of Lagos Residents Lack Access To Potable Water – says African Group | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Mar 25, 2024


By Kanabe Medina

As part of activities to mark the World Water Day 2024, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has announced that over 8 million Lagos residents currently lack access to clean drinking water.

This was disclosed during the ‘Our Water Our Right Coalition’s’ press conference held at the company’s office in Ogba.

Saying despite the fact that Lagos prides itself as a megacity, it lacks portable water, CAPPA spotlighted the persistent issue of water access across Africa, highlighting Nigeria’s struggle to provide safe drinking water to its citizens.

While noting that the issue of water scarcity is a general challenge in Africa, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “In Nigeria alone, a staggering 113 million people suffer from painful hardship and crippling deprivation of water.

“This saddening neglect is not due to a scarcity of resources but rather a consequence of the profit-driven logic adopted by state authorities in managing water supply and amenities.

“The relentless pursuit of commodifying public resources, at the expense of community welfare, has led to the deterioration of vital public utilities and social services.

“While this plight is widespread across the country, the situation in Lagos State is particularly alarming for us. Despite the state’s reputation as a lodestar and mega-city, over 8 million of its residents, equivalent to roughly 60 percent of its population, grapple with limited access to potable water.”

Speaking on this year’s theme ‘Water for Peace,’ Olwafemi added that the problem of water scarcity in Lagos is exacerbated by the state’s frequent glorification of profit-driven partnership models as supposed solutions, despite ample global evidence illustrating the shortcomings of privatising water supply and infrastructure.

CAPPA strongly opposes privatisation efforts in the water sector in Lagos state, citing examples from around the world where privatisation has led to decreased access and supply, including in the USA, Chile, and France.

He noted that the recent termination of a two-decade-long partnership with Veolia in Niger Republic serves as a cautionary tale against privatisation, highlighting the persistence of low access to drinking water despite private involvement.

“We wish to re-emphasize today that only democratic ownership and public control of water services can remedy the deep-rooted injustice of water inaccessibility.

“For emphasis, we categorically reject any plans by the Lagos Stat aided by the influence of international financial institutions and development agencies with a pro-privatization stance to outsource its traditional responsibility of providing water to its citizens to business owners,” the CAPPA Director stated.

CAPPA proposes several recommendations to address the water crisis in Nigeria, including increased investment in public water infrastructure, regulatory oversight, and protection of water sector workers.

They also call for a participatory approach to water governance, prioritising the voices and needs of local communities in decision-making processes.

According to the body, states should abandon all plans to privatise water services because public-private partnerships offer no real solutions to water challenges.

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