The Ogun State Government on Friday declared a State of Emergency in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, (WASH), as well as declaring war against open defecation in the State.
Penpushing reports that, Governor, Dapo Abiodun, made the announcement, when he received the report of a Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme, (WASH)in his office in Abeokuta
The Governor pointed out that the water and sanitation sector must be adequately attended to at the urban and sub-urban levels, stressing that rural water supply and sanitation is necessary and aspirations of residents would be prioritised in line with Goal Six of the Sustainable development Goals, SDGs.
Penpushing further reports that, he added that the declaration signals a high level of political will within the State to provide a focused governance structure and appropriate budgetary provision to deliver on Goal Six, which is to provide sustainable, equitable and reliable potable water as well as improve sanitation services to the people.
“It is therefore my considered plan of action as the Governor of this State, giving several challenges the water sector poses to our dear State and our strong commitment, to address lingering issues in the water sector. I hereby declare a State of Emergency in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH and officially flag off a Campaign against Open Defecation in Ogun State.
“We now subscribe to the implementation of the National WASH Action Plan in order to reverse the regressing trend through ensuring access to safe drinking water and ending of open defecation,” the Governor declared.
Penpushing also reports that, Abiodun explained that the State has commenced a developmental agenda and strategy to ensure efficiency of operation, commit to the rehabilitation of infrastructure, infuse professionals in the sector, modernise value-chain operations, set key performance indicators, KPIs, and create an enabling legal and regulatory framework for Public-Private Partnership to thrive.
The Governor also that the Nigeria WASH Poverty Diagnostic Report of 2007 indicated that 61 percent of Nigerians have access to improved water, with only 31 percent having improved water in their premises, saying that this led to the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH by the Federal Government.
Penpushing reports that, he acknowledged that residents of the State are going through serious and indicative water sanitation and hygiene crisis, adding that only 14.9 percent of residents have access to clean water through public utilities, while access to improved sanitation as well as 35 percent, with 22 percent of open defecation, particularly in the rural areas.
The governor while noting that Abeokuta, the State Capital and other major cities in the State are fast becoming commercial centres, stated that they lack adequate potable water supply and sanitation, adding that the existing coverage of was below 15 percent.
Penpushing also reports that, he described potable water, good hygiene and sanitation as crucial to the health and economic wellbeing of the people, and observed that access to these basic needs was still a challenge to the people who live in the big and small towns and in the rural areas, adding that their absence has led to preventable diseases, which claim lives, especially of children under five years.
The Governor maintained that his government will continue to invest through effective partnership with development partners including the Federal Government, United Nations Children Education Fund, UNICEF, and the World Bank to ensure that clean potable water and sanitation get to the door steps of every household in the State.