Otukpo (Benue) – WaterAid, an International Organisation, has expressed its readiness to work toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six, dedicated to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to ensure its availability in Nigeria.
Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik, Communication and Advocacy Manager, stated this at a WASH Media Workshop on Sanitation Agenda, held in Benue by the organisation.
“WaterAid is an international organisation working in 37 countries in Africa, Asia and Pacific region and has been working in Nigeria since 1995.
“The organisation is working in 22 Local Government Areas across six states of the Federation.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the purpose of the workshop was to form a platform, where different stakeholders in WASH come together to proffer solutions to WASH, especially sanitation challenges in Nigeria.
Speaking further on the objectives of the workshop, Abdulmalik stated that media was a good channel for disseminating information across to all stakeholders and the public on the importance of WASH.
According to her, media helps to raise the issue, create awareness and empowering citizens, stakeholders as well as government.
“It is all about writing to evoke feelings that make people take action that influenced change.
“Where a journalist sees that there is no water and inadequate sanitation facilities, he should advocate by reporting on such critical issues which is essential to everybody in the country,’’ she said.
She said Nigeria had been noted among the nations of the world that could not meet the sanitation standard in line with global standard.
Abdulmalik added that media were powerful tools and medium through which huge successes could be achieved in curbing the situation by their sensitisation through information dissemination.
In his contribution, Mr Saheed Mustafa, a Facilitator and Advocacy and Partnership Manager, WaterAid, said the effective way to influence WASH issues, especially sanitation was to identify with the relevant authorities in the sector.
He said, WASH sector worldwide has introduced an innovation known as ‘’WASHWATCH’’, which was an online collaborative platform funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, administered by the WaterAid.
`WASHWATCH mission is to enhance collaboration to monitor global water and sanitation progress.
“It allows regional, national and even global comparisons (within certain limits), motivational factor to do better than the others.
“Collaborative monitoring shows government that citizens are mobilised around WASH issues and hold their government accountable as a motivational factor to vote its budget, ‘’ he said.
According to him, WASHWATCH allows all WASH stakeholders to share their analysis of the sector bottlenecks for government’s consideration, gathers all WASH commitments country have signed, and reported progress from it.
In another remark, Mrs Clarisse Baghnyan, Coordinator, Regional Learning Centre, WaterAid, observed that the current challenges in WASH had reduced equalities in accessing sanitation and water facilities by the physically challenged people in the society.
Baghnyan said water, sanitation services and hygiene promotion often failed to reach the poorest and most marginalised people, saying that lacking access has the greatest impact on the lives of women and girls.
She said that their rights were overlooked and they missed out on basic services, marginalising and excluding them even further due to inadequate and unequal distribution of resources within their reach. (NAN)