Categories: Inside NigeriaKadunaOn the Go

Kaduna declares state of emergency on water, sanitation


The Kaduna government has declared a state of emergency on the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector to enable the state attain open defecation free (ODF) status.

Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman to the governor, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, and said the decision will enable the state to build on the success of the sanitation, hygiene and water in Nigeria (SHAWN II) programme.

He cited significant progress being recorded in ridding Kaduna of open defecation, adding that “Jaba local government area has been validated by UNICEF as having attained ODF status.”

“As at May 2020, [a total of] 2,269 communities in the state have attained UNICEF ODF status. This was achieved through the implementation of relevant WASH projects and consistent sensitisation of communities,” the statement read.

Adeleke listed steps being taken by the government to achieve state-wide ODF status across the 23 local government areas to include prioritising the provision of clean water and the promotion of basic hygiene.

According to him, these steps are central to delivering quality health care and life expectancy which are important human development indices.

He emphasised the importance of water and sanitation as critical in the prevention of cholera, Lassa fever, typhoid, and COVID-19, adding that the Kaduna state rural water supply and sanitation agency (RUWASSA) rehabilitated 110 boreholes across the state in 2019, with funding from UNICEF.

“By May 2020, RUWASSA has rehabilitated another 216 boreholes in various communities across the state,” he said.

“In addition, local artisans were trained and provided with tool kits to assure future repairs of the boreholes, enhance community participation and ownership as well as the sustainability of the installations.”

Adekeye, who commended UNICEF for its support in helping the state to achieve ODF status, said the government will continue to invest in human and material resources to eliminate open defecation.

“Kaduna state looks forward to building on the gains of the SHAWN II programme and attaining a vital sustainable development goal,” he added.

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