From right: Lonis Salihu UNICEF WASH Specialist, representative of Chairman Transitional Committee Biu Local Government Saidu Kabura, acting General Manager RUWASSA Alhaji Baba Sa’ad and Falayi Temitope of Federal Ministry of Information at the media dialogue.
By Dauda Iliya
The United Nations Children Education Fund UNICEF has promised to provide additional support to Borno state government to achieve Open Defecation Free status.
UNICEF North East Cheif of Field Office, Phuong Nguyen made the promise at a two-day media dialogue on Open Defecation in Biu, Borno state.
She urged the state government to invest more in water, sanitation and hygiene WASH facilities at the households and institutional level to meet the 2025 agenda of ending open defecation in the country.
The UNICEF Chief decried that only fourteen percent of schools, twelve percent of healthcare centres and 0.4 percent of public places in the state have access to basic WASH services, stressed the need for stakeholders to collaborate to improve the situation.
Nguyen however commended Borno state for achieving open defecation free status in two local government areas of Biu and Shani, assured to strengthen the collaboration to ensure more communities deliver.
“We must improve on the status quo and extend what has worked here to other communities in Borno state. If it is possible in Biu and Shani, it is possible in other communities too” Phuong Nguyen said.
Acting General Manager Borno state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency RUWASSA Babagana Sa’ad attributed the success achieved in Biu and Shani to Community led Total Sanitation CLTS concept.
He explained that benefiting communities established water, sanitation and hygiene committees to ensure sustainability.
Alhaji Sa’ad commended UNICEF, Government of the Netherlands and other partners for their sustained support towards improving the WASH sector in the state.
Representative of Chairman Biu Local government Saidu Kabura said the local government has established microfinance institutions to give loans to households to construct improved toilets and equally passed a by-law for the sustenance of open defecation status in the local government.