Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation, on Friday urged all stakeholders to provide water and basic sanitation facilities in rural areas to reduce preventable deaths.
Mr Chika Okeke, the organisation’s Executive Director, made the call in Abuja.
He said that basic water intervention projects were needed as majority of rural areas were worst hit by drinking from unsafe water points.
“As you are aware, a lot of communities in the FCT and other parts of the country do not have any source of potable water.
“Water is not a social service, water is part of the development agenda, water is for growth; water is for economic development.
“When governments don’t invest in the health of its citizens, then there is no development that can take place,” he said.
Okeke said that the group had carried out a research on knowing the countries that do not invest in water and sanitation, saying Nigeria was one of them.
“Countries that invest in water and sanitation have an increase in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while countries that do not invest in sanitation suffer a decline in their GDP.
“So, if we are talking about development, these are the indicators for measuring development; it’s by GDP.
“We know that if you don’t invest in water, your GDP goes down; therefore, water is central to development,” he said.
NAN reports that the NGO focuses on management of community water projects by engaging corps members in the intervention of water and sanitation projects.
The organisation uses youths in the Community Development Service and medical groups to disseminate information on the importance of water and hygiene activities.
It assists communities with water points and latrine construction; monitors the repair of boreholes and sponsors hand washing programmes in selected communities.
The organisation, which operates in Ebonyi, Anambra and the FCT, is also extending its services to Cross River, Ekiti, Gombe and Sokoto States.