a water pump in a refugee camp

The institute is focusing its activities to support the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. Very Rev. O. Kolade Fadahunsi, director of the institute, released a public statement underscoring the importance of ensuring that all have access to safe water throughout Nigeria by 2030.

“The experience of households during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was harrowing,” said Fadahunsi. “We are focusing on different values of water.”

A conversation has been arranged with two local communities of Samonda and Agbowo in Ibadan, the religious communities of Hassan Odukale Theological Institute, Immanuel College of Theology and Diocese of Elekuro, and the Methodist Church Nigeria on what water means to them.

“The aim is to understand how people value water – whether it is economically, socially, culturally or in other ways – how it plays a role in their lives,” said Fadahunsi. “A compilation of responses will be presented to Oyo State Ministry of Water and Environment for government intervention in the water sector.”

Water means different things to different people, Fadahunsi added. “Unfortunately, in today’s market-driven trend, the economic value of water supersedes the spiritual and ethical values of water,” said Fadahunsi. “As church and faith-based organisations, it is our moral imperative to ensure that water for life gets the priority over water for profit.”

He explained that water as a tradable commodity could jeopardise the human right to water from the poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities, including small farmers.

Access to clean water in Nigeria is still a daily challenge for many people, said Fadahunsi. “This problem is acute as it contributes to the very high prevalence of water-borne diseases and threatens lives and livelihood especially of small-holder farmers,” he said.

Learn more about the Seven Weeks for Water

WCC member churches in Nigeria