Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), a non-governmental organisation, has called on the Kaduna State Government to improve water supply in parts of the state.
It also called for an improved Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) services in the state.
The Kaduna Coordinator of NEWSAN, Rev. Kuzasuwat Peter, made the call during an advocacy visit to the Kaduna State Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure on Friday in Kaduna.
NEWSAN is a coordinating network of civil society organisations that ensures access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
SURWASH is a World Bank approved $700 million programme in seven states of the country including Kaduna.
Peter noted that most Kaduna citizens have been complaining of pumps not running in some parts of the city, and he urged the government to find the needed solution.
He said water and sanitation were central to the development of other sectors, hence the need to prioritise SURWASH.
“Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is a human rights issue; citizens should have sustainable access to improved WASH services at an affordable rate.
“Some of the World Bank interventions in the country have failed. We call on the Kaduna State Government to ensure that SURWASH programmes succeed in the state,” Peter said.
He pledged to close the gaps between Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation and rural, urban water supply.
“There may be some gaps in the SURWASH document, hence the need for the
state to fill in the gaps.
“This is through the provision of services in other areas not included in the programme by allocating extra resources to address the gaps,” Peter said.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure, Alhaji Bashir Lere, commended the team for resilience and hard work in complementing government’s efforts towards minimising open defecation.
Lere said Kaduna State was still battling to ensure residents were Open Defecation Free in three local government areas out of 24.
He attributed shortage of water supply in some parts of the city to population explosion, and inadequate and unstable power supply to run machines.
“No government can afford running those platforms with generators; we are however currently planning to address those challenges by using renewable energy and other means.
“The Kaduna State Government is committed to ensuring that its citizens live in good health and enjoy all the benefits humans are entitled to,” Lere said.
Mr Dantata Garba, Director of Operations, Kaduna State Water Corporation, lamented the enormous challenges faced by the corporation.
Garba said the challenges were gradually being sorted out by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s administration.
He said that most of the equipment and machines used at the corporation were obsolete, dating as far back as 1930, which translated into shortage of water in parts of the city.
Mr Ibrahim Ado, Director of Sanitation, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, lamented that people engaged in open defecation even where facilities were provided by government in public places.
By Sani Idris