Stakeholders rose from a meeting in Enugu, weekend, demanding accountability from all elected political office holders across the three arms of government. The stakeholders, comprising the Civil Society Organizations, youth organizations, the media, religious and traditional rulers, among others, met in Enugu at an event to x-ray the vote 4 WASH campaign, and “Keep your promises campaign” put together by WaterAid in collaboration with an Enugu based non-governmental organization NGO, Global Health Awareness Research Foundation GHARF.
They called on Nigerian leaders to always deliver on their water and sanitation campaign promises. While expressing concern over the nonchalant attitude of elected political office holders in the state and country at large in the area of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), they challenged the citizens to rise up and demand for their rights in that regard.
They regretted that the sector has over the years been relegated to the background by policy makers, at the local, state, and federal government levels, positing that such ugly development has continued to endanger the lives of millions of Nigeria’s, especially in the rural communities.
Opening the floor for a robust exchange of views, President of GHARF, Professor (Mrs.) Obioma Nwaorgu, disclosed that her organization was partnering WaterAid Nigeria, and Enugu state government to implement the San Mark Expansion Scale- up (SES) programme in the state towards improving access to (WASH), services through collaboration with key sector Actors.
She said, “Usually, during elections, our people demand money from politicians in exchange for votes. In the recent 2019 general elections, WaterAid and patterns decided to change this reality, with vote 4 WASH campaign. What this entails is encouraging voters to vote for candidates who are committed to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services.”
She explained that some of the objectives of Vote 4 WASH included educating citizens on their human rights to water and sanitation, to sensitize citizens on how to hold their leaders accountable, before, during and after elections, among others.
The WaterAid officer, in charge of programme Monitoring, Evaluation and Representative in Enugu state, Mr. Eta Eteta, said the gathering was aimed at bringing stakeholders together to find out if the politicians were truly keeping to their 2019 campaign promises on issues relating to (WASH) in Enugu State.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Enugu State Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Ada Nwoye, and Special Assistant to governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on water Resources, Mr. Dubem Onyia (Junior), had in their separate speeches, said the state government was always disposed towards implementing human oriented water policies.