The Sokoto State Government says it is expanding the Sanitation Hygiene And Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project in the state to cover seven local government areas.
Alhaji Sidi Abbas, Executive Director, Sokoto State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, October30, 2017 in Sokoto that the expansion was because of the impact of the project on the people’s lives.
“Tangaza Local Government Area (LGA) was the initial council area selected in Sokoto State by UNICEF and state government for the SHAWN project.
“The impact of the hygiene and sanitation activities on the lives of people in Tangaza has prompted the extension of the project to Bodinga, Tureta, Dange-Shuni, Tambuwal, Silame, Binji and Gada LGAs.
“The government also plans to further extend the project to cover all the 23 LGAs in the state.’’
Abbas said that under the project, 10 blocks of 60 toilets, latrines and hand-washing compartments were rehabilitated in five selected primary schools in Tangaza, Tureta and Bodinga LGAs.
He said that a total of 35 primary schools, 14 health centres and 70 communities were expected to benefit from SHAWN activities across the state before the end of 2017.
He said that over 1,980 hygiene promoters, mostly women, in Tangaza LGA alone had been trained, as part of efforts to establish sanitation committees to enable the communities to take ownership of the facilities.
“The Environmental Hygiene Clubs and Community Committees are aimed at preventing the facilities from breaking down frequently.
“The committees will also enable the communities to take ownership of these facilities,’’ he said.
He said that 120 communities in Tangaza LGA had been certified as being Open Defecation-Free (ODF) under the project.
“About 120 communities were earlier screened as being Open Defecation (OD) communities under the project, which was executed in eight wards of the council area.
“We conducted a census of schools, health facilities and Community Management on Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) Centres and we discovered the incidence of water-borne diseases associated with poor environmental hygiene.
“However, with the intervention, the figure reduced to between five and 10 persons from between 300 and 200 residents who visited the health facilities,’’ he said.
Besides, Abbas said that seven solar-powered boreholes as well as nine motorised and electricity-powered boreholes had been reactivated.
“This is in addition to 30 hand pump boreholes. Some wells were also covered and disinfected in the communities and at present, not less than 79,930 residents have access to improved sanitation facilities in Tangaza LGA.
“Also, 168,417 persons now live in ODF communities, while 49,008 persons now have access to safe drinking water in the area,’’ he said.
The executive director said that hygiene promoters were engaged in 100 communities to promote comprehensive hygiene practices, including hand washing, separate toilets, kitchens and living rooms.
He said that the people had also been sensitised to the need to cover all their water containers while transporting water for domestic use, adding that they were also educated on how to use cups and utensils.
“These processes have resulted in the communities attaining the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) status,’’ he added.
By Habibu Harisu