The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Esther Walson- Jack MCIPM, mni has stated that the commensurate allocation of human and financial resources needed to drive ODF campaign is not in place and this has led to the inactiveness of many State and LGA level agencies, who are expected to drive the campaign at the sub-national level.
Mrs. Jack made the observation on Monday, 28th February 2022 in Abuja at the on going National Retreat for States on the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign. In her address, the Permanent Secretary noted that as at January 2022, only 76 Open Defecation Free (ODF) LGAs have been recorded. While this can be considered as good progress, she stated that it is not significant enough to put Nigeria on course our national target of an ODF Nigeria by 2025.
She further observed that the spread of the 76 ODF LGAs is limited to 12 out of the 36 States and FCT. This means that 24 States and the FCT have not been able to contribute any ODF LGAs to the national statistics.
The Permanent Secretary however commended the progressive States who have continuously demonstrated that achieving an ODF community and LGA is possible. “This has reinforced our believe that having an ODF State is a possibility and that an ODF Nigeria can be a reality” she said.
Mrs. Jack expressed her optimism that other States can learn from their colleagues and take home key action points from the retreat to drive the campaign to the next level in their States and contribute to the national aspiration of meeting the 2025 target date of an ODF Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director of Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Mr. Emmanuel Awe said that the participants will receive presentations on the progress of the Clean Nigeria Campaign at the national level, the communication plan and how to accelerate progress; opportunities for private sector engagement across the sanitation service chain and systems strengthening for effective service delivery.
He also stated that Federal Ministry of Water Resources is committed to the vision of an open defecation free Nigeria by 2025 as well as increasing sustainable access to basic WASH services for all Nigerians by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria Evelyn Mere noted that it’s time we moved away from focusing on open defecation as an intractable problem facing the country and begin to highlight more the opportunities inherent in this challenge to promote the dignity and unlock the productivity of Nigerians, accelerate entrepreneurship and strong profitable supply chains, while also fostering the enabling context for private sector to play a key role.
The retreat has in attendance the Honourable Commissioners for Local Government Areas, the General Managers of States Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies and other organizations who are mostly charged with delivering sanitation and hygiene services across the 36 States and FCT.
Funmi Imuetinyan (Mrs.)
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