The World Environment Day (WED) was commemorated on June 5th 2016 with the theme ‘Join the race to make the world a better place’. The celebration which started since 1974 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has a major focus on environmental sustainability. Angola was the host country for the 2016 celebration and it was to encourage their effort in seeking to restore its elephant herds, conserve Africa’s biodiversity-rich wildlife, and safe-guard the environment as it continues to rebuild after more than a quarter century of civil war.

Also, two days to the World Environmental Day, the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo visited Ogoni land to flag off the ‘Ogoni clean-up’campaign. The clean-up of the heavily polluted Ogoni land was in response to the recommendation given by the United Nation Environmental Program, UNEP, in its report in 2011. The campaign was to ensure that the regulators of oil industry carry out their responsibilities in line with global best practices while avoiding water pollution and destruction of aquatic ecology.

Water is an essential and the most important part of our environment after oxygen. Most diseases and illnesses are as a result of poor sanitation and dirty or polluted waters. Access to clean water in Nigeria has remained an important issue when it comes to basic amenities. Over 57 million Nigerians do not have access to clean water in Nigeria while 130 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation; this is two-thirds of the population. Also around 68,000 children under five years old die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

In view of the world environment day celebration, NOIPolls Limited presents a throwback poll on ‘access to clean water’ conducted in March 2015, as a follow up to the one conducted in February 2013 to ascertain the sources of and level of access to clean water in Nigeria.

Excerpts of Findings from NOIPolls’ Access to Clean Water poll:

Results showed that most Nigerians mainly indicated ‘pure water’ (29 percent) as the major source of drinking water in their homes. This is followed by respondents who cited ‘tap water’ (18 percent) ‘private borehole’ (17 percent), ‘public borehole’ (14 percent), and ‘bottled water’ (8 percent) as their main source of drinking water amongst other sources.

Analysis by geo-political zone revealed that the North-Central (37 percent) zone accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians whose source of drinking water is pure water, the North-East zone (41 percent) for tap water and the South-East zone (33 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians who mentioned private boreholes as their source of drinking water.

— OkoroChukwu IkeChukwu ( Correspondent)