Kaduna to end open defecation by 2023
By Asma'u Halilu
Kaduna State government has reiterated its commitment towards ending open defecation by 2023 in the State through focusing more attention to the needs of women and girls.
While presenting a keynote address, the Commissioner Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Alhaji Jafaru Sani made this known at the flag-off ceremony of the National Youth Volunteer Program on handwashing and clean Nigeria campaign for covid-19 prevention in Kaduna.
According to him, besides the exposure to diseases, lack of dignity and inconvenience experienced when practicing open defecation due to non-availability of sanitation facilities, women and girls especially, are exposed to violence, including rape when they have to go out at night to defecate in the open.
He noted that as part of efforts to address the issue, with particular reference to ending open defecation, a roadmap towards making Kaduna State Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025 was developed.
“It is gratifying to note the positive efforts being made in the WASH sector by the Kaduna State government towards improving the living standards of our people.
“Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services are part of the indices for socio-economic development of any state and the nation and thus, cannot be ignored”, he stressed.
Sani said that, the national launch and flag-off of the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ campaign was performed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on 19th November 2019 with President Buhari signing Executive Order 009 on Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025.
He disclosed that, Kaduna State government had on the 9th of July, 2020, declared a State of Emergency in the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector.
According to him, the declaration was to enable the State to build on the successes of the SHAWN-II programme and accelerate the attainment of the goal of an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in all the Local Government Areas of Kaduna State by the year 2025.
“Kaduna State government will continue to invest in the human and material resources to eliminate open defecation. In this effort, UNICEF has been a very supportive ally.”
The Commissioner said the Federal Ministry of Water Resources have requested that Kaduna State amongst other States, flag-off the National Youth Volunteer Programme on Handwashing and Clean Nigeria Campaign for Covid-19 prevention in the State.
Sani explained that the objective would be achieved through the engagement of 100 youth volunteers for community sensitization on proper handwashing.
Pledge of support
On his part, the Algon Chairman, who is also the Chairman, Soba Local government council, Muhammed Aliyu Mahmud appreciated the commitment of the Federal government as well as Kaduna State government for the laudable project on open defecation.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the 23 Local council Chairmen of Kaduna state towards supporting and contributing to the success of the program.
Mahmud assured that the support given by the various Chairmen in collaboration with the engagement of the hundred youths per LGA, the campaign against open defecation and hand washing will be achieved.
He also appreciated RUWASA for the construction of various water and toilet facilities across the State.