Mr Kabiru Abass, the Country Programme Monitor, Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) Programme, has called for the proper mentoring of those involved in sanitation programmes across the country.
He made the call in in Abuja, were he specifically solicited the mentoring of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees (WASHCOMS) and community leaders, as part of efforts to sustain the full implementation of the RUSHPIN programme in the benefiting states.
He said that the mentoring of the natural leaders and WASHCOMS was an opportunity to increase public awareness and build capacity toward meeting the overall target of ending open defecation by 2025 and meeting the SDGs by 2030.
Abass, however, expressed regret that Nigeria’s target of making 2.2 million citizens in the six benefiting local government areas in Benue and Cross River to stop open defecation might not be met after all.
He said that this was largely due to the lack of commitment from the states, which was evident in their non-payment of counterpart funds, and the weak house-to-house monitoring by stakeholders.
He said that within four years of programme implementation, a large number of houses had moved from traditional toilets to improved latrines, adding that most of them also had fly-proof facilities.
He said that in most of the sites visited, ash was used to reduce odour from toilets, while there were gender and disability friendly facilities in place.
Abass added that the outcome of Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Programme on the health and wellbeing of the communities had shown that there was a reduction in diarrhoea cases in Abi Local Government Area (LGA) in Cross River and Logo LGA in Benue.
“In Abi LGA, the reported cases of diarrhoea in Imabana and Adadama communities in the post-ODF programme period have reduced drastically between 2015 and 2016. In Logo LGA, the reported cases of diarrhoea in Mbagbe and Mbavuur in the post-ODF project period have reduced drastically by 93 per cent in 2016. The same scenario was reported in Obalinku LGA. Nursing mothers also reported that savings from initial expenditure for treating diarrhoea cases are now used for other household productive activities,’’ he said.