Programme Manager, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWATSSA), Cross River State, Mr Patrick Emori, has expressed optimism that the state would soon be open-defecation free.
Emori stated this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the ongoing monitoring mission of the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) programme in Calabar. He said with the intervention of the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Programme of the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) in most of its communities, the state would attain the feat.
The GSF is a five-year programme of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), which works to improve access to sustainable sanitation, water and hygiene for all people. He said efforts were being made by the state government to ensure that the programme was replicated in more local governments across the state.
Emori said that the agency had embarked on sensitisation programmes on basic hygiene practices across the state to educate the citizens on benefits of sanitation. He also said that more attention was being given to rural areas, as 75 per cent of its citizens lived there, saying with access to water and sanitation, water-borne diseases would be prevented.
According to Emori, with the support from the GSF continuous training was being carried out for Water Sanitation and Hygiene facilitators across the state. “Water supply is crucial to maintaining basic hygiene and sanitation, that is why we are doing all we can to ensure that there is access through the solar water pumps and hand-pump boreholes,” he said.
The programme manager said the inability of some communities to maintain some of its infrastructure was a challenge, adding that there were few cases of vandalism. “It came to our notice that some people vandalize some of the solar water pumps and its infrastructure, but we are happy to say that they have been caught and are currently facing the wrath of the law,” he said.
Source: Daily Independent