Water Security: WaterAid seeks climate-resilience interventions for communities


WaterAid, an international non-governmental organisation, has called on all tiers of government to provide interventions to help communities mitigate the impact of climate change on water supply in the country.

WaterAid’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Wainwright, who made the call at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, said it was time to shift attention to those most affected by climate crisis.

According to him, no one can be resilient to climate change if he does not have access to water, saying that adaptation strategies must be prioritised by all levels of government.

“We are seeing the impact of climate change and the impact of climate change on the human race is principally through water, either too much or too little, so we see droughts.

“We see flooding; we see sea level rise; we see we see the groundwater levels dropping to dangerously low levels; so, it is a huge issue.

“ It is a big risk; and it is getting bigger all the time with climate change.

“The impact is getting stronger and it is hitting the parts of the world– the countries in the world that did the least to cause climate change.

“So, we see that it is fundamental to do more work on adapting to climate change, building the resilience of communities; nobody can be resilient to climate change if they do not have access to water,’’ he said.

He said Nigeria must do more to strengthen its sanitation systems as flood occurrences could cause huge risks could if there was poor sanitation systems.

The chief executive officer said to tackle the challenges posed by climate change, it was crucial to ensure access to water for all.

He said resilience in the face of climate change hinged on the ability to secure the fundamental resource, adding that with the rise in urbanised communities, demand for clean water and efficient sanitation systems was growing.

Wainwright said WaterAid’s vision was for a resilient future in Nigeria and to inspire effort to address the pressing water and sanitation challenges.

He said his visit coincided with a significant milestone for WaterAid Nigeria, which recently unveiled a Country Programme Strategy to improve access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services for 10 million people.

Wainwright commended Nigeria’s commitment to addressing WASH challenges and recognised climate change as a significant threat to this essential right.

He emphasised WaterAid’s dedication to mobilising sustainable solutions and funding through the Resilient Water Accelerator project– all aimed at ensuring that communities have secure and sustainable access to water and sanitation.

On her part, Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, expressed her enthusiasm for the visit, emphasising the opportunity it presented to advance the advocacy for safe, inclusive, and sustainable WASH access in Nigeria.

She underscored the far-reaching impact of climate change, not only on jeopardisiing access to clean water, but also threatening industrial and commercial water usage vital to businesses, productivity, and livelihoods.

“WaterAid’s visit to Nigeria is not just a working visit; it is a testament to the organisation’s unwavering commitment to securing a more resilient and water-secure future, both in Nigeria and beyond.

“As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, initiatives like this bring hope and promise to vulnerable communities striving to withstand the impacts of a changing world, “Mere said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Wainwright, and Chair of WaterAid Board, Andrew Green, are embarking on a working visit to the country from Nov. 6 to Nov.10.

By Tosin Kolade