Stakeholders in the environment sector have identified poor physical planning as posing challenges to urban sanitation and faecal sludge management in the Bauchi metropolis.
The stakeholders, with speciality in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), stated this on Friday, February 19, 2021 in a communiqué issued after a two-day dissemination workshop on contextual analysis of urban sanitation study, organised by WaterAid Nigeria.
They noted that poor physical planning in the metropolis, amidst high population density, was constraining having an ideal Faecal Sludge Management System, just as weak synergy among stakeholders and ineffective enforcement of standing rules and regulations posed additional challenges.
“Private sector participation in faecal sludge management is low, despite its huge potential return on investment. The poor implementation of sanitation policies are serious constraints towards achieving a sanitary and safe environment in the state.
“Inadequate local technologies and approaches for faecal sludge management also pave way for inappropriate handling, among other challenges,” the communiqué said.
The communiqué recommended that the government should ensure attitudinal change on the part of residents by instituting a Behaviour Change Communication programme.
“The Information Unit of relevant MDAs should be strengthened to carry out enlightenment campaigns to achieve behavioural and attitudinal change amongst city residents.”
They also called on MDAs to work for the establishment of an Independent Regulatory Agency to regulate Water and Environmental Sanitation issues in the state, in addition to undertaking collective reforms among the MDAs to make environmental agencies assume the role of regulators in the state.
The stakeholders included Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Private Sector, Development Partners, CSOs, the Media, the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Health, Bauchi State Urban Water and Sewerage Corporation (BSUWSC) and the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA).
By Ahmed Kaigama