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ADDRESS BY THE VICE PRESIDENT, PROF.
YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON AT THE
UNVEILING OF THE NATIONAL WATER
POLICIES AND LAUNCHING OF THE
PARTNERSHIP FOR EXPANDED WATER
SUPPLY, SANITATION AND HYGIENE AT THE
SHEHU MUSA YAR’ADUA CENTRE, ABUJA ON
MONDAY NOVEMBER 7, 2016.
PROTOCOL
It gives me great pleasure to address this
select community of professionals and
stakeholders of the water sector, at this epoch
making event of the launch of the Partnership
for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and
Hygiene (PEWASH).
It is indeed heart-warming that such an all-
embracing initiative has been developed as a
means of addressing the challenges being
faced in the water supply and sanitation sub-
sector, and to prepare a good foundation
towards achieving Goal 6 of the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) which is to “Ensure
Availability and Sustainable Management of
Water and Sanitation for all’’ by the year 2030.
The fact that we all seem to agree that water
is life and critical to human existence, it is
amazing how lightly we take issues of water
management. Excess water or insufficient water
not properly managed is devastating to both
man and environment. The problem is made
more graphic by the fact that since the creation
of man, aggregate volume of water within the
hydrosphere has substantially remained
constant in spite of increasing population,
which implies the per capita share is
decreasing on a daily basis.
It is also a well-known fact that Nigeria did not
achieve the targets of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) for water and
sanitation. Some of the reasons adduced for
this include primarily, the lack of effective
coordination among stakeholders and the
inability to harness the required funds.
Consequently, about 150,000 children under the
age of 5 die annually from diarrhea-related
diseases that are mostly traceable to unsafe
drinking water. The situation is even more
depressing in the rural areas where polluted
ponds and streams remain the only source of
water for drinking and other household chores.
This trend must change!
In Nigeria, successive governments, in
collaboration with development partners, have
contributed to efforts geared towards improving
access to water supply and sanitation services,
and successes have been recorded in a number
of areas, with access to water supply presently
at 69%, and sanitation at 29%.
This is still a far cry from what is needed.
Indeed, within an ever increasing population and
a drive to self-sufficiency in food production,
the demand for water supply and sanitation
service will continue to increase thereby
requiring an innovative and holistic approach
towards closing the access gaps. The Ministry
of Water Resources has concluded work on the
National Water Resources Policy and the
National Irrigation Policy and was recently
approved by the Federal Executive Council.
By this, the ministry is provided with the
overarching framework which will guide the
activities of all stakeholders in the sector in the
wake of our renewed focus on agriculture as a
revenue earner and contributor to our GDP and
importantly, the development of our irrigation
infrastructure.
I am informed that PEWASH will provide a new
collaborative and systematic approach to the
achievement of an increased universal access
to sustainable water supply and sanitation
services involving all the relevant stakeholders
from the beneficiary communities, local
government areas, state governments,
development partners, donor agencies, the
organized private sector and the Federal
Government.
It will also take cognizance of special groups
such as the vulnerable and people living with
disabilities with a well-structured framework for
project delivery. It is expected that with the
implementation of PEWASH, we hope to attain
our targets of increased rural water supply and
sanitation and health as well as make positive
impact on economic growth and human
development.
I like to commend the Honourable Minister for
Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu for his
strong belief and practice of policy-driven
initiative. It is clear that he strongly subscribes
to the view that the way of ensuring
sustainable attainment is in ensuring that they
are based on robust policy.
Let me also commend all development partners
involved in this great initiative, for their
commitments through the years. I commend
the Permanent Secretary and members of the
team at the Ministry of Water Resources for all
the hard work that has gone into this so far.
I encourage all stakeholders especially the
states and local governments to participate in
this crucial initiative and commit to its success
so that our common development goals as a
nation will be achieved.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my
pleasure and singular honour to launch the
Partnership for Expanded Water Supply,
Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) for smooth
implementation to the glory of God and for the
benefit of our people.
Thank you.
RELEASED BY:
Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President

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