The European Union and United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) have constructed 52 Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) toilets and 10 motorised boreholes in Plateau to address challenges of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the state.
The projects, which are in communities in Shendam and Riyom Local Government Areas, were in the third phase of the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP).
Mr Amos Kudzalla, UNICEF WASH Specialist in its Bauchi Field Office, said the gesture was aimed at ensuring a secured environment where children and women live devoid of diseases.
Kudzalla, who said this on Saturday while inspecting some of the facilities at Riyom, noted that the projects were executed in partnership with the state government.
“As you all know, UNICEF is an orgnisation working for the rights of children and women, and one of its cardinal objectives is to ensure that these category of people have access to basic social services.
“One of the basic social services is clean water, improved sanitation facilities and hygiene and with these facilities being inspected today, we have done that which is expected of us.
“So, ours is to ensure that children grow in a healthy environment and that is why we supported Plateau government in making these facilities available,” he said.
Kudzalla said that his organisation had also built the capacity of the rural beneficiaries, to ensure that the projects were sustained at the expiration of the WSSSRP Programme.
Members of the team during the inspection tour
Mr Ja’afaru Wuyep, the State’s Commissioner for Water Resources and Energy, said the gesture would addresses 9f accessing clean water in rural areas.
Wuyep said the gesture would enable the state meet up with Sustainable Development Goals of ensuring access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in all parts of the state by 2030.
The commissioner assured that the state government would not relent in the payment of counterpart funds to enable a robust partnership with foreign donors.
Similarly, Mr Peter Kassam, the General Manager, Plateau Rural Water Supply And Sanitation Agency (PRUWASSA), explained that 40 of the VIP toilets of three compartment were constructed at public primarily schools.
He also added that 12 of two compartment were made available at public health centres across the two localities.
According to Kassam, the gesture will enable the state attain Open Defecation Free (ODF) status even before the 2025 dateline given by the federal government.
“Currently, 275 communities in the state have been declared ODF, yet, current rating shows that we are second in Open Defecation (OD) in the North central.
“But it’s our belief that with the support from UNICEF and EU, we shall in no time lead in terms of ODF in the country,” he said.
The inspection tour took the team to Kwi, Kuru station and Tyana communities of Riyom Local Government Area. (NAN)