The Federal Government says it will soon commence the construction of a modern toilet with borehole and solar powered pump, as part of efforts to curb cholera outbreak in the FCT.
Minister of Environment for State, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this in Abuja, on Monday, September 6, 2021 while inaugurating the National Environmental Sanitation response to the Cholera outbreak in Nigeria.
Ikeazor, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Abel Enitan, said that the efforts would also target the eradication of open defecation in the community.
She said that the government would construct the toilet with borehole and solar powered pump in Bazango community, Kubwa, Bwari Area Council, as it was currently the epi-centre of the outbreak in the FCT.
According to her, the latest situation report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released on Aug. 17, 2021 indicated a total number of 37,498 suspected cases including 1,149 deaths in 24 states and the FCT.
“Nigeria is currently experiencing cholera outbreak in several parts of the country with reported cases of fatalities.
“It is against this background today’s event is being organised to flag-off our response activities to the increasing rate of cholera cases across the country.
“Sensitise the general public on cholera preventive and control measures to avert further outbreaks and strengthen collaboration with NCDC and other stakeholders in tackling the cholera scourge.
“It remains a global threat to public health and affects both children and adults and can kill if untreated. It is an extremely virulent disease that takes between 12 hours to five days for symptoms to manifest.
“The symptoms are watery diarrhoea, dehydration, pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting among others.
“Cholera outbreak is a seasonal public health event in Nigeria, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more often in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene practices,’’ she said.
The minister urged government at all levels, development partners, media organisations, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders to collaborate with the ministry for effective implementation of environmental programmes.
She said that the commitment would help to control and prevent the spread of cholera and other sanitation-enabled diseases in the country.
Mr Michael Forson, the Manager, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at UNICEF, said that the organisation would partner with government, civil society organisations and other stakeholders, to create access to safe water.
Forson said that the collaboration would also help to promote a community-led water safety planning process.
He said that UNICEF would support both the states and the Federal Government to operationalise the Cholera Emergency Operational Centre, and multi-sectoral coordination.
The WASH manager also said that UNICEF would assist the government by training village hygiene volunteers, adding that the organisation had already embarked on disinfecting water in various affected states.
In his remark, Chief Jibril Mohammed, the Bwari Area Council Chairman, said that the community was faced with the disease due to poor personal hygiene, unsafe environmental sanitation conditions compounded by the lack of potable water supply.
Mohammed, however, thanked the ministry, UNICEF and other relevant stakeholders for their commitment at ensuring that the community was recognised, adding that their intervention would help to effectively address the challenge.
By Vivian Emoni