The Federal Government says it will provide water and sanitation facilities for Sasa community in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State to prevent outbreak of water-borne diseases in the area.
Mr Baba Galadima, Deputy Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Response and Collaboration, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said this in an interview with New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
He also said that four local government areas in Kebbi State had been targeted for intervention in 2018, as part of efforts to expand the people’s access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
He said that the local councils were Bunza, Maiyama, Jega and Zuru of Kebbi State.
Galadima recalled that there were confirmed cases of cholera in Sasa community in Oyo State in 2016, with some casualties.
He said that the ministry would construct pour-flush toilets, which relied on the use of minimal water, in the neighbourhood to facilitate the cessation of open defecation, while improving the people’s lives through enhanced access to potable water.
He said that the water supply department of the ministry had promised to drill boreholes with hand pumps for the community.
The deputy director said that part of the strategy was to ensure that as the water was pumped from the boreholes, the same energy would be used to store water for toilet use.
Galadima said that the ministry and some development partners carried out a sanitation survey of Sasa community and found out that the residents were living in a very filthy environment.
He said that the ministry had been receiving reports of cholera outbreak in the area in the last seven years.
He said that the outbreaks were also confirmed by the Director of Disease Control in Oyo State Ministry of Health.
“The ministry had carried out WASH assessments in the community and it found that sanitation and hygiene practices in the neighbourhood were quite low.
“Faeces were seen all over the place and the community had no access to potable water; the lack of water also compounded the problems they were facing,’’ he said.
Galadima said that it was saddening to note that the community members, mostly settlers, paid taxes but they were, nonetheless, denied access to basic water and sanitation facilities.
He said that the team also visited to those who lost their loved ones in the cholera outbreaks and condoled with them.
He said that preparations were underway to provide water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for the people of Bunza, Maiyama, Jega and Zuru area councils in Kebbi under the 2018 procurement programmes.
He said that the sources of water for the communities in the four local government areas were very poor and unwholesome.
The deputy director stressed that the promotion of water, sanitation and hygiene in the country was imperative in efforts to reduce the menace of cholera outbreaks, particularly as they affected under-five children.
He said that efforts were underway to spur behavioual change in the citizens by adopting Community-Led Total Sanitation due to the dangers of oral-faecal transmission of diseases, especially from poor hygiene practices.
By Tosin Kolade