The Kaduna State Government has declared a state of emergency in the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.
In a statement, Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, said this was to enable the state to build on the success of the SHAWN II programme and accelerate the attainment in the state of the national goal to make Nigeria Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the year 2025.
He said with funding from UNICEF, the state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) rehabilitated 110 boreholes across Kaduna State in 2019.
“By May 2020, RUWASSA has rehabilitated another 216 boreholes in various communities across the state. 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.
“Significant progress is being recorded in ridding the state of open defecation. Jaba Local Government Area has validated by UNICEF as having attained ODF status. As at May 2020, 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. Steps are being taken to achieve statewide ODF status across the 23 local government areas,” Adekeye said.
He added that the state government placed priority on the provision of clean and safe water and promotion of basic hygiene.
Adekeye also stated that these were central to delivering quality healthcare and life expectancy which are important human development indices.
He said water and sanitation were very critical in preventing killer diseases like cholera, Lassa fever and typhoid, as well as Covid-19.
“During the emergency period in the WASH sector, the 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.
“Kaduna State Government notes with gratitude the immense work UNICEF has been doing to help our state attain ODF status,” he said.
Adekeye said Kaduna State looked forward to building on the gains of the SHAWN II programme and attaining a vital sustainable development goal.