By John Shiklam
The 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 issued yesterday, the spokesman to the state Governor, Nasir, El-Rufai, Muyiwa Adekeye, said the emergency would enable the state to build on the success of the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWNII) programme.
According to Adekeye, significant progress is being recorded in ridding Kaduna State of open defecation, noting 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 UNICEF ODF status. This was achieved through the implementation of relevant WASH projects and consistent sensitisation of communities.”
It added that steps were being taken to achieve state-wide ODF status across the 23 local government areas in the state.
Adekeye said further that “the state government places priority on the provision of clean and safe water and promotion of basic hygiene, which, according to him, is central to delivering quality health care and life expectancy which are important human development
He stressed that water and sanitation are very critical in preventing killer diseases like cholera, Lassa fever and typhoid as well as COVID-19. .
The statement disclosed that the state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) rehabilitated 110 boreholes across the state in 2019 with funding from UNICEF.
“By May 2020, RUWASSA has rehabilitated another 216 bore holes 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,’’ the statement said.