Sanitation, Hygiene, Everybody’s Business, Says Water Minister
The Minister, Federal Ministry of Water Resources Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu FNSE, FAEng has said that Sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria should be everybody’s business.
The Minister said this yesterday in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to Minister of FCT Mallam Mohammed Bello as part of the robust National Action Plan to secure the buy – in of all stakeholders including state governors which is hinged on goveranance, sustainability, sanitation, funding monitoring and evaluation.
In his address during the visit, Engr. Adamu reiterated the approval by the Federal Executive Council to carry out a “Clean Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign” with roles and responsibilities assigned to states and FCT, which includes in part developing and implementing a National campaign/transformational sanitation promotion agenda to end Open Defecation in Nigeria by 2025. The Minister however, appealed to the FCT Minister to “declare State of Emergency with clear communication of state – specific plans, create the required enabling environment and build sector capacities and ensure establishment of a regulatory mechanism for the local monitoring of WASH activities and subsequent reporting to Area Councils”.
In addition, Engr. Suleiman Adamu requested that the FCT administration should commit to investing a minimum of three times the current WASH investment level and improve revenue collection to ensure that institutions pay tariffs owed for Water supply and sanitation services.
He also opined that FCT Government should key into programmes and initiatives of the Water Ministry, participate in programmes such Global Handwashing Day Commemoration and World Water Week which the Ministry recently participated in, in Stockholm, Sweden. The Minister further urged the FCT Administration to mobilize Civil Society Organizations to develop an effective policy, and to legislate against Open Defecation and reckless urination practices as Nasarawa State had done.
Adamu stressed that with dedicated effort, Nigeria would be able to reduce the high statistics of being the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation as India which is 99.9% ODF exists the first position in the world of those practicing open defecation.
FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello while commending the Water Minister for his re – appointment and his giant strides in the Water Ministry noted that his Ministry had been partnering with Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Malam Bello equally noted that FCTA has keyed into this sanitation agenda and has gone ahead to identify locations in the FCT for the establishment of toilets powered by solar energy in partnership with the Private Sector.
The FCT Minister also informed that the FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello would coordinate the sanitation programmes and collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on the sanitation agenda.
In attendance at the advocacy visit were the Minister of State FCT, the Permanent Secretary, FCT Administration, some Directors and members of staff of Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Kenechukwu Offie (Mrs.)
Director (Information Department)