The importance of strengthening the collaborative and coordinative efforts of line Ministries to ensure improved access of Nigerians to sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene in preventing and mitigating disease outbreaks, and ensuring access to basic facilities and healthy environment has been re-emphasized.
The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, FNSE, FAeng made this known at the 7th Inter- Ministerial Dialogue on Sanitation on Monday 11th April, 2022 in Abuja.
The Minister noted that the responsibility for different aspects of sanitation lies within different Ministries, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) has a cross – cutting impact on other sectors.
He added that aside the health dimensions of sanitation improvement, opportunities also abound in building a circular economy around hygiene and sanitation.
He urged Nigerians to explore and maximize the advantage of these opportunities, stressing that the results of Open Defecation Free Local Government Areas which currently stands at 78 can be scaled up through more collaborative efforts.
Engr Adamu further remarked that the proposed global Sector Ministries (SMM) Meeting scheduled to hold in Indonesia will provide a platform for more engagement of line Ministers with other countries, donors and private sector actors towards improving the dimensions of our National Development.
Speaking during the Dialogue, the Chief of WASH, Jane Bevan commended Jigawa and Kaduna states for concerted efforts to attain Open Defecation Free Status, and also urged all assembled Ministers to work together with their team members to ensure accelerated efforts to end Open Defecation in Nigeria.
Also in his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN, acknowledged the progress made so far and urged the stakeholders in WASH to continue to push and make continuous efforts to sustain sanitation as the key to a healthy life.
He advised that there should be proper waste management, as well as the engagements of subnational governments to widen the horizon of advocacy through education.
Speaking during the dialogue the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen noted that poor sanitation affects women and children more and there is already a commitment towards advocacy on improved sanitation through community based sensitization on hand washing and menstrual hygiene in schools, IDPS, and health Centers through the engagement Non-Governmental Organizations, community leaders etc in order to redouble efforts.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunibe Mamora noted that disease outbreaks should be prevented because when crisis happen it ends up at the Ministry of health and the overall effect will lead to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. He advocated health promotion, disease prevention and provision of portable water towards ending the spread of sanitation related diseases.
In his submission, the Representative of the Minister of FCT Dr Al Hassan said efforts are in top gear to ensure the ground breaking building of toilets through private partnership adding that the Federal Capital Territory is already targeting Open Defecation Free Council Area before the end of 2022
Mr Idi Mohammed, the representative of the Minister of Environment Mrs Sharon Ikeazor noted that the Ministry had already keyed into the sanitation and hygiene program of the federal government and there is significant progress.
The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed was represented by Mrs Kenechukwu Offie.
Earlier in his report, the Director of Water Quality Control Mr Emmanuel Awe who was represented by the National Coordinator of Clean Nigeria Campaign Mrs Chisoma Okpara highlighted that discussions of the previous Inter Ministerial Dialogue included the engagement of farmers on messages to end Open Defecation, update on Nation Housing Programme, youth sensitization and engagement on Clean Nigeria Campaign, and the commemoration plans for menstrual hygiene day amongst others.
Speaking on action points reached so far, she emphasized the need to strengthen coordination and collaboration across ministries, utilizing the Federal information Centres to spread Clean Nigeria Campaign and the presentation of group report to AMCOW and many more.
Funmi Imuetinyan (Mrs)
12th April, 2022