Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu took centre stage at global climate forums #COP28 and #UNClimateSummit, rallying international support for urgent action to address the water shortage crisis gripping Nigeria’s most populous city.
With a population of 22 million, Lagos faces a staggering daily demand of 700 million gallons of water yet needs to meet even 210 million due to critical infrastructure deficiencies.
Governor Sanwo-Olu underscored that the issue is not merely a social service concern but a pressing economic necessity vital for public health and sustainable development.
Highlighting the untapped potential despite abundant water resources in the state, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized the imperative need for a $2.8 billion investment in water infrastructure to bridge the alarming gap between demand and supply.
He stressed the importance of forging strategic partnerships to address the pressing challenge effectively.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s impassioned plea for equitable global investment in water projects echoed throughout a side meeting moderated by Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General of the Insurance Development Forum.
The panel included prominent figures such as Tim Wainright, CEO of WaterAid; executives like the Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo and the CEO of Dalmia Cement in India; Vedika Bhandarkar, COO of Water.org; Josien Sluijs, Managing Partner of AquaForAll; Maximo Torero, Assistant Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the UN; and Grant Reid, former CEO of Mars, Incorporated.
He wrote on his X page:
”Today at #COP28, I rallied global support for long-term funding to tackle Lagos’ water shortage. At a side meeting during the #UNClimateSummit, I emphasized the need for sustainable financing to meet our city’s growing demand for safe water.
”Lagos, home to 22 million, faces a daily demand of 700 million gallons of water but struggles to supply even 210 million due to infrastructure shortages. This isn’t just a social service; it’s an economic necessity vital for public health.
”Despite abundant water bodies, the state utilizes only 40% of its water facilities. Lagos needs about $2.8 billion investment in water infrastructure to meet the population’s needs. It’s time to bridge this gap through strategic partnerships.
”I highlighted the urgency for equitable global investment in water projects. Every human deserves equal access to clean water, regardless of gender or location. Lagos, with its youthful population, is a promising investment hub, and we need committed partners that want to drive real change.”