ABUJA – Mrs Ebele Okeke, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador for Nigeria, said over 70 per cent of ailments are caused by lack of potable water and good sanitation.
Okeke said this at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative (WSSCC) Nigeria Members Meeting held in Abuja on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WSSCC is funding the Global Sanitation Fund of the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) Programme in Benue and Cross River States.
She said it was a matter for regret that Nigeria was still lagging behind in achieving improved access to basic sanitation and hygiene.
She called for more awareness to enable more Nigerians to be accustomed with the benefits of hygiene and sanitation, saying this was necessary to reducing preventable deaths.
Okeke also emphasised the role of parents in educating their children and wards on the importance of washing their hands after going to toilets and before eating.
The Chairman, Programme Coordinating Mechanism, WSSCC Nigeria, Mr Samuel Ome, said Nigeria needed to step up its policies at increasing access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
He stressed the need for private individuals and industrialists to take ownership of sanitation in their local communities.
Ome noted that this would go a long way in reducing the spread of preventable diseases.
He said it will also boost healthy living, thereby making the populace to be more the nation’s prosperity.
The chairman said the RUSHPIN Programme was targeted at continuous advocacy and policies to increase access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in three councils in its targeted states.
Ome said the programme coordinating mechanism had observed steady progress in the targeted states, adding that more commitment was needed from all stakeholders in making open defecation free in these states.
He also called for determination from leaders at the three tiers of government to solve the problem, saying access to water and sanitation should not be left to the Federal Government alone.
The chairman recalled that at the 2014 National Council on Water, all stakeholders adopted that Nigeria should be declared open defecation free by 2025.
He said the National Roadmap on Ending Open Defecation was on, adding that the result would be disseminated at the upcoming National Council on Water later in the year.
Ms Priscilla Achakpa, National Coordinator, WSSCC Nigeria, said the objective of the meeting was to create an avenue for engaging its members on building capacity to meet with its objectives.
She said there was need for all stakeholders to support the harmonisation of the National Sanitation Policy to enable Nigerians promote hygiene practices to improve their wellbeing.
NAN reports that WSSCC’s vision is to create a world where everybody has sustained water supply, sanitation and hygiene. (NAN)
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