By Wale Are
UYO – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has charged the media in Nigeria to improve on reportage of issues of sanitation and provision
of potable water in the country to enhance healthy living.
Speaking at a two-day media dialogue on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
(WASH) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on Tuesday, UNICEF Communication
Specialist, Mr Geoffrey Njoku charged newsmen on increase thorough
investigative journalism on water, sanitation and Hygiene.
He explained that the media dialogue on WASH was organised by UNICEF
with supports from European Union to boost the understanding of the
journalists on issues that concerned water, sanitation and hygiene as
they affect child survival.
According to him, “this media dialogue is aimed at promoting advocacy
for water and sanitation, understanding of the link between water and
child survival and the roles of UNICEF and EU as well as their efforts
in water, sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria.”
“We urge journalists to generate and publish human interest stories so
as to create visibility for Water situation and interventions in
Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta in order to encourage more
investments in water supply in the region. Such stories should be
shared on social media with #WASHDialogue”.
“Increased reportage of water, sanitation and hygiene in terms of
in-depth, incisive and analytical features would assist in achieving
the SDGs and benefit the citizenry, particularly the downtrodden.”
“Specifically, there is need to tell the public about the
interventions of the EU in water and sanitation project in the Niger
Delta which include Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers states,”
The Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel who was represented at
the media dialogue by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Political,
Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Mr Nse Edem disclosed that
the state government is providing new strategic policies that would
ensure provision of potable water across the state.
UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mr Moustapha Niang in his presentation
highlighted facts and figures depicting the current situation on
provision of water and environmental sanitation in Nigeria.
Another UNICEF WASH Specialist, Ms Martha Hokonya enumerated the
benefits of provision of potable water and urged journalists to do the
needful in prompting the government to invest in provision of potable
The acting General Manager of Akwa-Ibom State Rural Water Supply and
Sanitation Agency, Mr Idongesit Ido said with the release of the
counterpart funds the Akwa Ibom state governor, 30 solar power mini
water schemes and 24 sanitation facilities have been awarded to
contractors and some of the have already been delivered.