…Nigeria may not meet year 2025 target – Minister
The minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has expressed displeasure at the pace at which the country is tackling open defecation in Nigeria.
He said if the level of implementation continues at a snail speed the way it is going, the country might not meet the year 2025 target to bring the country out of its present position as number one in the list of countries notorious for open defecation globally.
Adamu stated this during an interactive virtual meeting with the coordinators of ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet’ Campaign in the 36 states and FCT in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the ministry, has recorded, so far, 27LGs open defecation free while some other 10LGs are awaiting validation by the National Task Group on Sanitation, making a total number of 37 out of the 774LGAs in Nigeria and at present 16 states have declared a state of emergency following that of the president on open defecation free last year.
The minister added that, the task is not just for the national level to achieve, rather it is the collaboration of the states and local levels to key into the project, giving in its utmost trust while maximizing the best approach through advocacy to attaining its success.
“You may recall we started with one LG that was ODF as at April 2017, but today we have 27 in total, and I understand there are also 10 more LGs that are waiting for validation, but once the validation is done, we have 37LGAs in all.
“Although it’s a slow progress and we will like to see us doing more. We have 774 LGs and we have 5 years to get Nigeria rid of open defecation practice, we are still taking baby steps, but I hope we would make that quantum lead that we need to make as soon as possible.” The Minister said.
On his part, Engr. Benson Ajisegiri, Director, Water Supply and Control, said that part of the process to achieve ODF is the Partnership for Expanded water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) which is intended to accelerate potable water supply especially to the rural areas in the country where vulnerable kind of diseases are rampant.
He confirmed that 33 states in the country already in partners with the program while remaining three (3) states: Borno, Anambra, Rivers as well as the FCT are yet to key in to the process.
Notwithstanding, Ajisegiri attested that out of the 33 active states, 10 states have been randomly selected to have the experience of the first phase of the program.
“As at today 33 states have signed the PEWASH protocols with us indicating that they are interested to participate in the program, that is a very good news. Borno, Anambra, Rivers are yet to sign in with us, as well as FCT.
“We have finished the pilot project in Kano and Ogun state, we are now going to the first phase of the project which is going to kick start in 10 states- Imo, katsina, Jigawa, Plateau, Zamfara, Sokoto, Ondo, Osun, Delta, Bauchi states,” Ajisegiri said.
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