The Organised Private Sector in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS-WASH) on Wednesday in Abuja expressed concerns about increasing incidence of cholera in the country.
Dr Nicholas Igwe, its National Coordinator, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that recent cholera outbreaks were worrisome and called for concerted efforts to improve waste management in the country.
“We observed Nigeria’s most recent cholera outbreaks with keen interest. It is within our duty as part of the Clean Nigeria Campaign to create strategies to eliminate cholera, a water-borne disease.
“In the Federal Capital Territory alone, there are 1,885 cases, resulting in 31 deaths. In totality, the country is dealing with a whopping 20,000 cases which exceeds that of COVID-19.
“More than half of Nigeria has been impacted by this outbreak,’’ he lamented.
Igwe said it was the responsibility of all to reverse this trend and noted that sewage treatment systems, particularly in urban cities such as Abuja and Lagos, were at an unacceptable standard.
He noted that water bodies in surrounding communities contained faecal matters believed to be a major contributing factor to the outbreak.
He said OPS-WASH as the umbrella body for private sector engagement in WASH, had received full cooperation from the FCT and real estate developers in the true spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration.
“We would also like to announce that as we are a product of Sanitation and Water for All, we have welcomed the first international company to the private sector component of the Clean Nigeria Campaign,’’ he said.
The national coordinator hinted that a Dubai-based company would be working closely with the OPS-WASH team to ensure the provision of the most efficient solutions to the problem.
Igwe commended all stakeholders taking the lead in achieving the Clean Nigeria campaign and enjoined them to keep the 2025 Open Defecation-free target date at heart.