The European Union and a non-governmental organisation, (NGO), in Nigeria, has step up a strategy to ensure that elected political office holders put an end to open defecation, mostly rampant in rural communities of the country.
Revealing the strategy as ‘Keep Your Promises Campaign’ with a tag ‘Implementing the Vote4WASH Electoral Campaign in Nigeria’, the nonprofit bodies seeks to ensure that government fulfils its campaign pledges made to the people in the area of water sanitation and an end to open defecation pollution by providing convenient toilets to the public.
The NGO, Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), is an implementing agent for the EU in north central Plateau State, Sky News Africa reports.
However, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong also said to combat the menace his government has set a target by of the year 2023 and by so doing has paid a counterpart funding to the European Union intervention to the tune of over N500,000,000.
Lalong said the end to open defecation which will gulp such huge amount is a task that cannot be shoulderd by government alone.
He said, “The State cannot do it alone without the support of development partners and therefore we are calling on all partners to support the State to attain open defecation free status by the year 2023”.
On her part, the country director, Water Aid Nigeria, Mrs. Chichi Okoye, said a survey carried out in Plateau in 2018, indicates that only 44.9 per cent have access to improved water sources, while 34.5 per cent have improved sanitation.
Okoye who was represented by the project manager, European Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), in Plateau State, Ms. Idowu Adeboye, said the statistics indicates that a gap of 2.3 million people in the State do not have access to water, while 2.8 million lack decent toilets.
“In 2018 the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics estimated that within the past six weeks, 19.9 per cent of households in Plateau suffered a diarrheal disease and at this rate, attaining the sustainable development goals which are targeted on water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 will be an enormous challenge if speedy steps are not taken with very deliberate and intensified measures to address this issues” Okoye said.
However, the State coordinator for NEWSAN, Mr. Vings Lomak said, sustained campaign and strategies will be deployed to ensure that politicians keep to their promises of ensuring water sanitation and decent toilets in their various constituents as promised during the 2019 electioneering before being elected to serve the people.