The Minister Of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman H. Adamu, has said that Jigawa State has assumed number one in the provision of access to basic water supply in the north-west and second state in Nigeria where four Local Government Areas (LGAs) have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). The minister, who was in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital on advocacy visit, said the state was among the few states that have signed onto the Partnership for Expanded Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) protocols which he initiated in 2016.
Nigeria is ranked second to India among the countries still practicing open defecation world-wide and the minister said all hands must be on deck to fight the menace.
A statement by the ministry’s Director of information, Mrs Kenechukwu Offie, said the minister briefed Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar that the federal executive council had approved the kick starting of the campaign on ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet,’ aimed at ending open defecation in the country. According to the statement, the minister also used the visit to declare Jigawa as second state in Nigeria where four local government areas have been declared open defecation free, putting households with access to water in the state to 86.6 percent. ‘’Sanitation marketing activities in the state has led to the construction of 2,400 units of improved toilets within the sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) LGS being implemented through the support and collaboration of UNICEF,’’ the statement read in part.. The Governor urged that the process of ODF can be scaled up to other LGAs by the state government to achieve a state-wide ODF status for the state in the near future. In his response, Governor Badaru promised that his state would work harder to add additional local government areas in ODF and supersede Cross River State before the national launch of the campaign by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 19. The governor declared a state of emergency in water and sanitation and directed the state Attorney-General to commence the process towards the passage of the bill.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST