The Coordinator, Clean Nigeria Secretariat, Mrs Chizoma Opara, has called on the FCT administration to formulate a roadmap towards ending open defecation practice in the nation’s capital.
Opara, who made the call at a Policy Brief Presentation, organised by Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) on Friday in Abuja, said Open Defecation Free (ODF) Nigeria was everyone’s concern.
According to her, it is worrisome that FCT has no council area to boast of out of the 38 ODF free local government areas in the country.
She said that declaring one area council in the FCT Open defecation free by 2021 would provide the organisation a roadmap to work with.
“It is very worrisome that the FCT has no single local government or area council that has been declared ODF, to add to the ODF declared local government councils by Federal Government.
“We are calling on all stakeholders to put more efforts to see that this dream becomes a reality,’’ she said.
NEWSAN FCT Coordinator, Williams Ngwakwe, pledged to work with other stakeholders to improve access to potable water and sanitation in the nation’s capital.
He noted that the group, with funds from the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund, was supporting the FCT Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector towards attainment of SDG goal six and contribute to the attainment of ODF status by 2025.
He said strengthening advocacy for water and sanitation would go a long way towards improving policy development and implementation, and improvement of lives of the populace.
Ngwakwe said findings on data collection and survey reflected that availability and functionality of water and sanitation facilities was low in ministries, departments and agencies.
Mrs Aisha Bakpet, representative of the FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, noted that data showed poor state of access to WASH in the country.
She called for strong advocacy, behavioral change, awareness creation and mass sensitisation of the populace.
“Strengthening SDG 6 which is clean water and sanitation for all is important, findings from percentage of WASH services implemented across the 36 states shows FCT among the lowest.’’
NEWSAN is a coordinating network of over 300 civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and community based organisations in water, sanitation and hygiene spread over six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Its mandate is to ensure access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for all Nigerians through policy influencing, advocacy and communications. (NAN)