By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
UNICEF has advised countries in sub-Saharan Africa to plan for and fund the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for their populace.
The advice became necessary because it found that every year, 297,000 children under five years die due to diarrhea linked to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.
“Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to the transmission of diseases such ad cholera, dysentary, hepatitis A, and typhoid,” UNICEF elaborated.
UNICEF also identified Nigeria among ‘high burden countries’ where 673 million people still practice open defacation.
According to it, the practice of open defacation is concentrated in ‘high burden countries,’ majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Safely manage drinking water and sanitation services: Drinking water from sources located on premises, free from contamination and available when needed, and using hygienic toilets from which wastes are treated and disposed of safely,” UNICEF stated in a news release.
It stressed the importance of having hand washing facilities and effective practice of hand washing.