The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other international bodies such as United Purpose, UNICEF, UKAID, WSSCC, have declared Yala, Bekwarra and three other local government areas of Cross River State open defecation free.
Other local government with this clean bill are, Obanliku, Yakurr and Ikom. And with this declaration Cross River State becomes the first state in West Africa to tackle the challenge of open defecation.
This was made known by Community-led Health Improvement through sanitation and hygiene promotion in Nigeria (CHISHPIN) in a press statement of an event to declare Ikom and Yala Open defecation free LGAs in Cross River State in Calabar on Thursday.
Speaking, Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu congratulated both LGAs for the great feat attained in achieving open defecation free status within 18 months, she said this underscores the Governor; Sen. Ben Ayade’s commitment to improve access to water and sanitation in the state.
She said Cross River State through His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade, has recently committed a sum of 15 million US dollars for water and sanitation. This include ensuring proper refuse disposal in the state, ending Open Defecation project, providing clean water in rural communities in the state amongst other things.
Edu commended United Purpose and their funders WSSCC, UK AID for their support. She noted that proper healthcare status in LGAs will not be achieved if there is no open defecation free status.
She noted that if faecal waste are properly disposed, the state will reduced the incidence of diseases such as diarrhea, cholera etc.
According to her if the push sanitation standard is maintained the other remaining 13 LGAs will be achieved before 2024, while stating that 2018 Calabar Carnival can be explore to pass this messages across to the global by sensitising the people about clean water and need to stop open defecation.
Earlier Speaking, Program manager of CHISHPIN, Mr Oliver Okon said all communities in Ikom and Yala have satisfied the National Open Defecation Protocol and have passed through the mandatory verifications and validation.
The representative of the minister for water resources and many partners have also committed to supporting CRS attend the prestigious height of being the first open defecation free state in West Africa.
Culled from: Leadership