The Gombe State Government, in a bid to end open defecation by 2025, has declared a state of emergency on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Mijinyawa Yahaya, disclosed this at a news conference on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 in Gombe, the state capital, after the State Executive Council Meeting.
Yahaya said an Executive Order was signed to that effect by the state governor.
The commissioner said that the declaration was subject to the memo submitted by his ministry to Gov. Inuwa Yahaya which was signed on Nov. 26.
According to him, the Executive Order 006 of 2020 as signed by the governor is also aimed at ensuring that the state is open defecation free by 2025.
The commissioner said that the WASH statistics for 2018 which he described as “very disturbing’’ necessitated the move for government’s action in order to bridge the existing gap between access to water and sanitation.
“Part of the state government’s effort in improving access to water would include construction of 332 boreholes in different locations in the state.
“Plans are also ongoing for the establishment of public toilets, especially in densely populated areas and specifically in motor parks, markets, hospitals and schools,’’ he said.
The commissioner said that his ministry would also embark on massive awareness to sensitise people of the state, especially in rural communities on the dangers of open defecation.
Yahaya assured that the state government was working to ensure that the challenge of water supply was addressed in the overall interest of the people of the state.
“Part of such effort was the approval of N250 million for the implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme in the state,’’ he said.
By Peter Uwumarogie