The Federal Government and the United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) have commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his relentless efforts and commitment towards the eradication of open defecation and its associated problems in the state.
The Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu and UNICEF’s Communication for Development Specialist, Mrs. Caroline Akosile who were in Edo State, commended Obaseki for the launch of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) roadmap, and the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) emergency declaration.
Obaseki launched the campaign shortly after signing the Partnership for Expanding Water Sanitation and Hygiene (PWASH) Protocol on the Federal Government’s goal of achieving an open defecation-free country by 2025.
Governor Obaseki said his administration would ensure that the state is open defecation-free, assuring that the state government would set up Small Town Rural Water Supply Agency to supervise the various water installations in the communities that have water projects.
He said, “We will take inventory of water projects in the state and fix faulty facilities as part of efforts to sustaining the WASH programme. We will ensure we have functional water systems in our schools. In every ward, we will demand up-to-date details in terms of water projects so that water associations will be formed for the water projects schemes.”
Earlier, Adamu said efforts made so far by Obaseki towards ending open defecation across Edo State were applaudable, urging the governor to show more commitment in the actualization of the goal by 2025.
The minister said he is visiting several states across the country with his team to intimate state governors on the national launch of the campaign against open defecation to be performed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 19th of November 2019.
According to him, “Nigeria failed to meet the millennium goals in 2015 because we were relying on budgetary allocation and investment were not enough. This gave birth to the PWASH. The Federal Government intends to target water and sanitation entrepreneurship as we work with microfinance organizations on issues relating to water and sanitation to enable people earn a living.”
He said water is an economic commodity to be paid for, noting that 13 of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country have achieved the open defecation-free target.
On her part, the UNICEF Specialist, Akosile said the state government’s commitment to WASH demonstrated a determination to eliminate open defecation in communities across the state.
She said Obaseki was the first governor to pay up the counterpart funding for the Water and Sanitation Programme in the UNICEF Akure Field Office, applauding the approval of the establishment of WASH department in all the 18 Local government Areas of the state.
“Access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right as declared by the UN General Assembly. Safe water, effective sanitation and good hygiene are critical to the health of every person and underpins all aspects of human and economic development”, she added.