The Federal Government has urged residents of Kaduna State to own and drive the Clean Nigeria campaign in their respective communities, to stop open defecation.
Mr Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, made the call on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at the inauguration of “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” and the National Youth Volunteer Programme on hand washing to prevent COVID-19 in Kaduna.
Represented by Mrs Elizabeth Ugoh, Deputy Director, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Tracking, in the ministry, Adamu said improving WASH services required collective efforts.
He congratulated Kaduna State for joining the league of states that had launched the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign and the Youth Volunteer Programme.
He said the programme would boost the campaign to end open defecation in the state and the national level.
“Today’s inauguration of the Clean Nigeria campaign is a demonstration of Kaduna State’s resolve to partner with the Federal Government in elevating the country to an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
“This campaign provides further testament to the determination of the government to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
“This is central to the attainment of all the other SDGs, as ‘Water is Life’ and ‘Sanitation is Dignity,’” he said.
According to the minister, 10 per cent of the population of Kaduna State still practiced open defecation, while only 28 per cent has access to basic sanitation services.
He added that out of 61 LGAs declared ODF in Nigeria, 37 LGAs were in North West states.
He said 16 LGAs were in Katsina State, 14 in Jigawa and three each in Kaduna and Kano States and one in Zamfara State.
He added that the National Youth Volunteer Programme on hand washing to prevent COVID-19 would engage 100 youth volunteers in each of the 774 LGAs across the country.
“The volunteers will undertake community sensitisation and awareness creation on safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices for COVID-19 prevention over a three-month period.
“The youth volunteers would be trained on communicating and demonstrating good sanitation and hygiene practices that can help to contain the spread of the coronavirus and curtail open defecation.
“The youth are expected to engage households, community and institutional levels in passing on these messages.
“It is our hope that through the involvement of these foot soldiers, our compatriots in every corner of the country will be exposed to these messages,” he said.
Inaugurating the campaign, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Ja’afaru Sani, said that Kaduna State government would continue to invest in the human and material resources to eliminate open defecation.
Sani said the government was making efforts to end open defecation by 2023 through focusing more attention on the needs of women and girls, adding that the enormous challenges required collaborative efforts.
He said the state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency had completed about 1,154 WASH facilities with a total of 10,084 water points between 2019 and 2020.
By Philip Yatai