Climate change has intensified sanitation, water crisis, says WaterAid

Climate change has intensified sanitation and the water crisis, according to WaterAid, a non-governmental organisation focused on the water and sanitation sector.

“The climate clock is ticking and if efforts are not made to better understand, value and protect this vital resource, making it a central feature of climate change adaptation strategies, then we face a very bleak future”, Dr Evelyn Mere, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, said in a statement.

The statement was issued by Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik Communications and Media Manager, WaterAid Nigeria, to the media on Wednesday, in Bauchi.

WaterAid noted that the government must respond to the urgent threat of climate change and recognise the vital role climate-resilient water and sanitation services and systems play in helping vulnerable communities.

“Be more prepared for climate change; because despite contributing the least to it, it’s the world’s poorest people currently suffering the brunt of its destructive impact.

“Far too little is spent on helping the most vulnerable people adapt to the impacts of climate change, which is putting the health and lives of millions at risk.,” It said.

The statement also explained that climate change affects the occurrence of infectious diseases. 

“Climatic conditions affect epidemic diseases, shifting the burden of diseases and increasing health risks for the populace. It is therefore crucial that we tackle climate change so as to mitigate these health risks as well,” it added.

The statement quoted WaterAid’s Regional Director for East Africa, Mr Olutayo Bankole-Bolawole, as saying, ‘We need urgent action to make sure that the most vulnerable in Africa can cope in the face of climate change. 

“Given the undeniable links between climate change and water, this means that everyone must have a reliable and sustainable source of clean water and access to a toilet that is clean, safe and climate-resilient.

“This level of funding is a completely inadequate response to the growing crisis and to the critical need to begin adaptation initiatives now to build resilience for the future.”  

The NGO pointed out that the Africa Climate week is a major opportunity to highlight for national governments, regional donors and institutions, the value of climate-resilient water sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

“Bring to climate change adaptation for national action, and to advocate for the funding needed to make climate adaptation sustainable and resilient.

“We are calling on all governments to urgently address the effects of the climate crisis and ensure sustainable access to clean water, clean water is a fundamental part of their national strategies for both adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change”, the organisation further said. (NAN)