FG, UNICEF Commend Edo for Addressing Open Defecation

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The federal government and the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) have commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his commitment towards the eradication of open defecation and its associated problems in the state.

The Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu and UNICEF’s Communication for Development Specialist, Mrs. Caroline Akosile, who were in Edo State recently during the launch of Open-Defecation-free Road Map said the governor’s efforts towards ending open defecation was applauding, urging him to show more commitment in the actualisation of the goal by 2015.

Adamu said he was visiting several states across the country with his team to intimate state governors on the national launch of the campaign against open defecation to be performed by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 19, 2019.

According to him, “Nigeria failed to meet the millennium development goals in 2015 because we were relying on budgetary allocation and investment were not enough.

“This gave birth to the Partnership for Expanding Water Sanitation and Hygiene (PWASH). The federal government intends to target water and sanitation entrepreneurship as we work with microfinance organisations on issues relating to water and sanitation to enable people earn a living.”

He said water is an economic commodity to be paid for, noting that 13 of the 774 local government areas in the country have achieved the open defecation-free target.

The UNICEF Specialist, Akosile said the state government’s commitment to WASH demonstrated a determination to eliminate open defecation in communities across the state.

She said: “Obaseki was the first governor to pay up the counterpart funding for water and sanitation programme. Access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right as declared by the UN General Assembly”, she added.

Obaseki launched the campaign shortly after signing the PWASH Protocol on the federal government’s goal of achieving an open defecation-free country by 2025.

Obaseki added that his administration would ensure that the state is open defecation-free, adding that, “we will take inventory of water projects in the state and fix faulty facilities as part of efforts to sustaining the WASH programme.

“We will ensure we have functional water systems in our schools. In every ward, we will demand up-to-date details in terms of water projects so that water associations will be formed for the water projects schemes.”