WaterAid Nigeria has expressed concern over the outbreak of cholera in some states, killing 3,000 people.
This is contained in a statement on Thursday signed by Rachael Ogunlana.
The aid agency said the number might be higher as people in hard-to-reach areas were also affected, but they were not all included.
The organisation expressed worry that the global climate crisis, which was likely to lead to more erratic rains and river floods, would increase the number and severity of these outbreaks, as there would be a higher risk of floods contaminating clean water sources.
Reacting to the cholera scourge Evelyn Mere, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, said, “It shows how important clean water and good sanitation and hygiene are to saving lives. Even though the rainy season is coming to an end, the outbreak is ongoing.”
According to her, WaterAid is working with the authorities in several states and at the national level to curb further cholera outbreaks.
“It is intensifying the campaign against cholera through TV and radio messages, focusing on the importance of access to safely managed toilets in households and public institutions and an end to open defecation while campaigning to improve handwashing habits,” the statement noted.
Ms Mere added that WaterAid was also working continuously to influence government at all levels to prioritise communities’ access to clean water.
She noted that the waste from open defecation was often washed away by rain, contaminating water sources like drinking wells, especially during the rainy season.
“Improving living and sanitation conditions in a sustainable way is extremely important in the fight against diseases like cholera and the impacts of climate change. It will literally save thousands of lives,” Ms Mere further stated. “Communities need proper handwashing and sanitation facilities and clean water sources that are at a distance from toilets, so there’s no cross-contamination.”