UN seeks support of Nigeria’s First Lady on water sanitation



patience_jonathan 600The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, Dame (Dr.) Patience Faka Jonathan, has expressed her willingness to support initiatives aimed at improving water and sanitation in Nigeria and Africa. The First Lady made this known today, 12/02/2014, in Abuja when she received a delegation from the United Nations (UN)Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water Sanitation, led by Mr. Idrissa Doucoure, the Chief Executive Officer of Water Sanitation for Africa (WSA), a pan-African intergovernmental agency.

Dame Jonathan used the occasion to underscore the importance of good sanitation and the delivery of safe water to communities across Africa, stating that this would help to reduce the
problem of waterborne diseases and improve health. According to her, “If our environment is clean our health and general well being will also improve.”

The First Lady said that she was prepared to offer her support to projects that would lead to improved standards of living, especially in grassroots communities as it would impact
positively on women and children. She commendedthe Chief Executive Officer of Water
and Sanitation Africa, for galvanizing continental action for safe water and improved
sanitation.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Idrissa Doucoure, quoted World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, maintaining that annually, 700,000 people die from diarrhea in Africa as a result of poor
sanitation and unsafe water. He solicited the support of the First Lady for the initiative; “First Ladies Coalition for Sanitation and Hygiene” which he said is expected to serve as a springboard for action for improved sanitation and hygiene across the African continent.

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