The Federal Government disclosed readiness to kick-off campaign against open defecation on November 19, 2019. This was made known by the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, in a statement signed by the Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Kenechukwu Offie. Adamu who was on an advocacy visit to the Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Abubakar, to brief him on the kick-off campaign theme, ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’, which is geared towards stopping open defecation across the country.
The national launch of the campaign against open defecation will be done by President Muhammadu Buhari, on November 19, 2019. According to the statement Jigawa State is number one in the provision of access to basic water supply in the North West region and second State in Nigeria where four Local Government Areas, LGAs, have been declared Open Defecation Free, (ODF). He said: “Our advocacy visit is to brief the Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar on the approval granted by Federal Executive Council (FEC) to kick-off the campaign on “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” and to campaign for the country to stop open defecation.
“Jigawa State is among the few states that have signed onto the Partnership for Expanded Water, and Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) protocols which he initiated in 2016.” The Minister also urged that the Jigawa State government scale up the ODF process to other LGAs in order to achieve a state-wide ODF Status. He also commended the State Governor and his team for the commitment and also pointed out that sanitation should also be sustained as it is important to public health, and stressed the need for access to clean drinking water and adequate disposal of sewage.
Interestingly, households with access to basic water supply in Jigawa State are 86.6 per cent, while sanitation marketing activities in the State has led to the construction of 2,400 units of improved toilets under the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria, SHAWN, LGAs being implemented through the support and collaboration of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF. Responding to the Minister, Governor Abubakar, appreciated the advocacy visit and recognition accorded to his State and promised that his government will work hard to capture the rest LGAs among ODF LGAs and surpass Cross River State before the National Launch of the campaign.
The Governor also declared a state of emergency on Water and Sanitation (WASH) and directed the Attorney-General of the State to commence the process towards the passage of a bill to ban open defecation in the State. “My government is investing heavily in water and sanitation with 86.6 per cent of citizens having access to water supply and my administration is working towards achieving 100 per cent status. “We commend the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu and his indefatigable team that has dedicated themselves by ensuring Nigeria as a whole is declared ODF by 2025. We will work with you to achieve this target”, he said.