By Abubakar Baba Ahmad.
Bauchi State Government says it has successfully delivered Eight local government areas and about Six thousand communities Open Defecation ODF Free under the Water, Sanitary and Hygiene WASH sector initiatives.
The ODF local governments include Dass, Warji, Shira, Gamawa, Bogoro, Ganjuwa, Toro and Katagum.
The State Commissioner of Water Resources Alhaji Abdulrazaq Nuhu Zaki stated this at a Media Dialogue organised by UNICEF to commemorate the 2023 World Toilet Day WTD at Azare, headquarters of Katagum local government.
Abdulrazaq Nuhu Zaki represented by the General Manager Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency RUWASSA Alhaji Adamu Sabo said additional two LGAs of Bauchi and Zaki were at different level of becoming ODF, hence the need for all stakeholders to support government towards actualising the Sustainable Development Goal SDG 6 target and overall the attainment of state wide ODF by 2025.
“It is important to note that the state government was able to deliver 8 L.G.As as LGA ODF wide, these includes Dass, Warji, Shira, Gamawa, Bogoro, Ganjuwa, Toro and Katagum LGAs. Additional 5934 communities were delivered ODF while two other LGAs were at different level of becoming ODF that is Bauchi and Zaki LGAS”, Zaki notes.
He further disclosed that 194 toilets business owners TBOs, 582 masons and 116 toilet investors were trained on improved latrine construction both at household and public places, with over 113 thousand improve toilets constructed across the state.
“Toilets are important because access to a safe functional toilet has a positive impact on public health, human dignity and personal safety, especially for females sanitation system that do not have safely manage excreta allow the spread of diseases like soil transmitted diseases and water related diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid fever, dysentry, neglected tropical diseases among others”, he highlights.
Speaking, the Officer in Charge UNICEF Field Office Bauchi Dr Clement Adams who underscored the need for availability of improved toilet in schools, public spaces, homes, and health facilities to discourage open defecation, thanked multilateral partners including FCDO, Lixil, WaterAid among others for their continued support in that direction.
Dr Clement Adams charged stakeholders including the LGA leaders, traditional and religious leaders, WASHCOMs, mother groups, school authorities to continue to encourage and enforce basic hygiene practices and policies to avoid relapse nor lose the achievements.
“We must continue to encourage and enforce basic hygiene practices and policies so that we do not relapse nor lose this achievement”, The UNICEF Officer in Charge reminds.
In their separate remarks, UNICEF WASH Consultant , WASH Coordinator Katagum local government Saidu Alkali as well as WASH Specialist and National Task Group on Sanitation NTGS Official Halima Muhammad who identified the various levels and stages of verification and subsequent certification of ODF, noted that more awareness and sensitisation needs to be done to ensure people especially rural dwellers embrace the initiative.
The World Toilet Day celebrated every year to bring attention to the undeniable importance of safe and hygienic toilets in daily lives is themed “Accelerating Change” to highlight the journey towards achieving the Clean Water and Sanitation SDG 6 target.