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April 14, 2024
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OPSWASH urges treating water as commercial asset for national dev’t

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By Tosin Kolade

The Organised Private Sector in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPSWASH) has urged all stakeholders to view water as a commercial commodity, promoting investment and sustainable usage for the nation’s benefit.

Dr Nicholas Igwe, the National Coordinator of OPSWASH, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja to commemorate the 2024 World Water Day.

Igwe said that the organisation was committed to driving private sector involvement in scaling up water and sanitation facilities across Nigeria.

He said that investors were ready to support the state, but there was a need for robust policies and legal frameworks to facilitate such investments effectively.

Igwe highlighted OPSWASH’s acknowledgment of the private sector’s critical role in job creation, resource mobilisation, and socioeconomic development, as part of the global private sector in WASH under the Sanitation and Water for All platforms.

“In collaboration with government and other stakeholders, OPSWASH is working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6, focusing on access to clean water and sanitation.

“The organisation is also dedicated to supporting community-led interventions and designs to address the needs of underserved communities.’’

He said that despite challenges such as the misunderstood roles of the private sector and the need for strong political will, OPSWASH maintained optimism regarding its contributions to Nigeria’s WASH sector.

Igwe added that through strategic partnerships and innovative solutions, OPSWASH aimed to drive efficiency, sustainability, and innovation in the water sector, ultimately benefiting communities nationwide.

Igwe highlighted the pervasive suffering and distress caused by chronic water scarcity across the nation, noting that reliance on public water supply had dwindled.

“Instead, many households and businesses rely on boreholes, wells, or water vendors for their daily water needs.’’

He underscored the significant role of inconsistent power supply in exacerbating the water scarcity issue as uninterrupted power was crucial for water schemes to function effectively.

Igwe said that addressing water scarcity would be a problem as long as power supply remained unreliable and called for a clear policy framework to guide action and funding.

He urged states and local governments to take proactive measures in ensuring water availability to the populace, emphasising the need for them to fulfill their responsibilities in this regard. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

 

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