The Federal Ministry of Water Resources under the Sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) has given Certificates to Five Local Governments in Benue State for attaining Open Defection Free (ODF) status.
This is even as the WASH Manager Enugu Field Office, Mamita
Thakkar disclosed that the feat has brought the number of ODF LGs in the State to Nine out of 23, saying Two additional LGs are at the verge of attaining certification
While commending the Governor for approving Two Hundred
and Fifty million naira as counterpart funding for the successful implementation of the Project Thakkar named the LGs that have attained the status to includes, Konshisha, Oju, Obi, Tarka and Buruku.
Thakkar in an address also stressed the need to ensure a change in perception on
sanitation issues, which she said has impact on public, nutrition, education,
employment, gender equality and the environment
The Programme which held in Màkurdi the State Capital our Correspodent gathered is implemented by Benue State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency with Funding from UNICEF and DFID.
In a remark after the presenting of certificates
Governor Samuel Ortom promised to support to Water Sanitation and Hygiene WASH Programme to enable people of the State
benefit maximally from the Programme.
Governor Ortom who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water Resources and Environment Engr. Godwin Tighir, noted that the programme has also helped to curtail outbreak of diseases in camps and thanked United Nations Children Fund and other partners for their collaboration with the State government in the WASH project.
On his part, Minister of Water Resources Engineer Suleiman Adamu represented by Deputy Director Sanitation, Engineer Emmanuel Eze
commended the state Government for the feat achieved and encouraged it to sustained the results achieved.
The Minister said so far 62 local governments have attained ODF status as at July 2021 and additional LGAs are undergoing the process of Validation to be declared as ODF.
He said the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has over the years ensured improvement in access to water supply across the country with national access estimated at 70% in 2019 from 40% in 1990.
Engineer Adamu added that the roll out of the Partnership for Expanded Water Sanitation and Hygiene PEWASH Programme, Presidential launch of the National Action Plan on the Revitalization of the WASH sector, declaration of a State of Emergency in the Sector, implementation of the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign and Executive Order 009 are some of the sector initiatives to address this situation.
Also speaking, wife of the Governor and State WASH Ambassador Dr Eunice Ortom represented by Commissioner for Trade and Investment Mrs. Ladi Ishiegbe, called on Local Government Chairmen and Traditional
Rulers to ensure that the ODF status was sustained stressing that it was cheaper to prevent any outbreak of diseases than to cure it.
On his part, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Enugu Field Office
Doctor Ibrahim Conteh acknowledged that the partnership of the State Government describing it as remarkable hence the positive result