The Katsina State Government has earmarked N200 million as loan to assist 1,650 poor households construct improved latrines to prevent open defecation and improve environmental sanitation in the state.
Alhaji Aminu Dayyabu, Executive Director, State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), disclosed this while signing agreement on the project by RUWASSA, Local Government Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and some Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs).
The director said that the state government would channel the funds to some Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) at zero interest rate for disbursement to the beneficiaries as loan packages.
He explained that the state government had already released N50 million for disbursement to the beneficiaries in nine local government areas.
According to him, the local governments include Dutsin-ma, Safana, Batagarawa, Kaita, Rimi, Bakori, Faskari, Mai’adua and Sandamu.
Dayyabu said that each of the beneficiaries would get about N40,000 loan to construct improved latrine.
He revealed that the programme tagged: “Sanitation Marketing”, was sponsored by the state government and implemented under the auspices of Sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) of the UNICEF.
Also speaking, a sanitation marketing consultant, Mr Oluwaleke Olateru, said that three Micro Finance Institutions that included Hamada, Cherish and SEAP would disburse the funds to the beneficiaries.
Olateru said that the MFIs would charge the beneficiaries a maximum of nine per cent interest rate.
He said that the local government WASH departments would identify the beneficiaries, while the MFIs would determine their eligibility because they would bear 100 per cent risks.
The consultant added that the MFIs would give the loans for six months after which they would recover it and give to another set of people.
Again, the UNICEF WASH officer in the state, Mr Obinna Uche, said that Katsina was the third state in Nigeria to implement the programme after Bauchi and Kaduna States.
The officer said that the loan would be given to vulnerable households in rural communities in those local governments to build improved latrines.
He added that Toilets Business Owners (TBOs) who were experts in toilet constructions would be engaged to construct the improved latrines for the beneficiaries.
By Zubairu Idris