by Juliana K. Tauna, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government has declared a state-of-emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector to enable it attain the national goal of making Nigeria Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the year 2025.
In a statement signed on Thursday by Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, the government also noted that the state-of-emergency will enable it to build on the success of the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN II) programme.
The Special Adviser said that significant progress is being recorded in ridding the state of open defecation, adding that “Jaba Local Government Area has been validated by UNICEF as having attained ODF status.
“As at May, 2020, 2,269 communities in the state have attained a consistent sensitization of communities. Steps are being taken to achieve state-wide ODF status across the 23 local government areas,” he said.
Adekeye affirmed that, “The state government places priority on the provision of clean and safe water and promotion of basic hygiene. These are central to delivering quality health care and life expectancy, which are important human development indices.
“Also, water and sanitation are very critical in preventing killer diseases like cholera, Lassa fever and typhoid, as well as Covid-19,” the statement noted.
The Special Adviser disclosed that the state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) rehabilitated 110 boreholes across Kaduna State in 2019, with funding from UNICEF.
“By May, 2020, RUWASSA has rehabilitated another 216 boreholes in various communities across the state. In addition, local artisans were trained and provided with tool kits to assure future repairs of the boreholes, enhance community participation and ownership as well as the sustainability of the installations,” he added.
The statement promised that Kaduna state government will continue to invest in human and material resources to eliminate open defecation.
Adekeye, who noted with gratitude UNICEF’s role in helping Kaduna state to achieve ODF status, added that the UN body has been a very supportive ally in that effort. Furthermore, he said that, “Kaduna State looks forward to building on the gains of the SHAWN II programme and attaining a vital sustainable development goal.”