Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari on Wednesday declared a state of emergency on water supply, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and campaign against open defecation in the state.
He said the declaration became imperative in order to reduce the high-prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the state, particularly the rural communities.
The governor, who made the declaration at a world press conference at the Government House, Katsina, said the achievements recorded in the WASH sector were not enough to cater for the growing population in the state, hence the declaration of the state of emergency on the sector.
He added that the state government in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other donor agencies had constructed over 3,500 boreholes and over 400 latrines in communities, schools, hospitals and markets across the 34 local government areas of the state.
According to the governor, “The above highlighted achievements recorded in the WASH sector in the state are not enough to categorically say that we achieved the desired result considering the population growth.
“There is need for strategic plan and implementation framework to address the declined water sanitation and hygiene service delivery in the state. Consequently, I hereby declare state of emergency in the WASH sector and campaign against open defecation in the state.”
He directed the state Ministry of Water Resources to propose and establish inter- ministerial steering committee on WASH under his chairmanship.
He also called on relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to launch sector reform through the adoption of state level action plan and participate in accessing the national WASH fund at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Masari however explained that the Zobe water supply scheme phase one was at 90 per cent completion and assured the people that when completed, would boost water supply in Katsina metropolis and its environ.
He said: “The phase 1B of the project, when completed will supply treated water from Dutsinma top hills through Karofi, Kafin Soli, Kankia and Charanchi. Already, the government has commenced discussion with relevant stakeholders on funding the completion of the project.”