World Water Day: LASG launches new WASH policy

Embark on tangible projects, Lagos commissioner tells council chairmen

World Water Day: LASG launches new WASH policy

Ahead of this year’s World Water Day, the Lagos State government on Thursday launched a new policy on water, sanitation, and hygiene that would specifically enhance, promote and improve access to clean water in the state.

The policy, which was developed with technical support, from USAID, would provide a platform for the review and passing of specific WASH legislation and provide regulations and guidelines to achieve the state objectives in line with SDG6 ‘6, ‘Clean Water and Sanitation.

Speaking at the official adoption of the policy in Lagos, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who noted that water was essential to life noted that it is also a powerful force for fostering peace and cooperation among communities and individuals.

Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, said the theme for the 2024 World Water Day: “Water for Peace,” underscores the critical role that water plays in building bridges between people.

This is achievable by fostering cooperation and dialogue on water-related issues that transcend boundaries, thereby promoting understanding, trust, and mutual respect.

He said: “In our pursuit of water security and sustainability, we must embrace the principles of inclusivity and equity; we must ensure that all individuals, regardless of their background, or circumstances, have access to clean water.”

He explained that the launch of the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Policy of Lagos State will serve as a guiding framework in the journey towards ensuring universal access to clean water and sanitation.

Sanwo-Olu said the policy outlines a holistic approach to water management, encompassing strategies for conservation, pollution prevention, and equitable distribution.

“The implementation of the WASH Policy will reaffirm the government’s commitment to leaving no one behind in the quest for water security and peace through improving water infrastructure, enhancing sanitation services, and empowering communities to take ownership of their water resources.

“The ongoing activities of the Lagos Urban WASH programme, supported by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, exemplify the dedication of this administration to promoting water security and sustainability in urban areas through innovative interventions and partnerships.”

Speaking, the USAID, Chief of Party, LUWASH, Mr. James Racicot, noted that with 23 per cent of Nigerians lacking access to basic water supply and 87 percent lacking safe drinking water, Lagos, with a projected population of 22.4 million, faces a significant water deficit.

Noting that the theme of this year’s event looked at how safe and equitable access to water and sanitation is a proven mitigating factor in conflict resolution, he said they are providing technical assistance to Lagos State.

“The State WASH policy was developed by the Lagos State government with technical assistance and financial support from USAID through the USAID/Nigeria Lagos Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, LUWASH) Activity”.

He said the World Water Day highlights the importance of access to clean and safe water for the global population.

He said the objectives of the USAID/Nigeria LUWASH Activity were to strengthen governance and institutional arrangements to deliver improved WASH services, improve the performance of public and private WASH service providers, increase access to safe and sustainable water services and increase household access to safe and sustainable sanitation and improve the quality of source water.

In his remarks, the Minister of Water Resources and Environment, Prof. Joseph Utsev, represented by the Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Alhaji Shehu Shinkafi, said water is a fundamental human right that sustains life, nourishes communities and forms the foundation of our society, saying that despite its abundance, access to clean Water remains a luxury for many people.

Speaking, the Special Adviser on Environment, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu said the equitable and sustainable management of water resources has the potential to address many of the root causes of social and economic inequalities.

He said through investment in water infrastructure and technology, a condition for peace to flourish will be created.


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