By Olajide Adelana
ABUJA, Nigeria – WSSCC’s National Coordinator for Nigeria, Ms Elizabeth Jeiyol, has commended Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on the inauguration of a steering committee newly established for the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign.
The campaign is a government-led initiative supported by UNICEF, the World Bank and WSSCC, among others, to end open defecation in Nigeria and promote access to safe and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities for all by 2025.
“This campaign is coming at the right time in consonance with the global principle to ‘Leave No One Behind’ in achieving SDG 6 and impacting other SDGs,” said Ms Jeiyol.
The inauguration took place in a virtual meeting on 28 May. In his comments at the ceremony, Vice President Osinbajo reiterated his determination to improve Nigeria’s low access to water and sanitation facilities.
The event was also attended by the honorable Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, who in April 2019, unveiled the Clean Nigeria campaign and website highlighting the National Road Map For Eliminating ODF in Nigeria by 2025 among other resources.
The newly inaugurated committee is expected to coordinate activities of three levels of government in ending the practice of open defecation by 2025.
In her statement responding to the committee’s inauguration, Ms Jeiyol outlined the remaining challenges.
“Open defecation (OD) and other poor sanitation and hygiene practices present serious challenges that encompass health and livelihoods of people resulting to incidences of WASH-related diseases. About 47 million Nigerians use open fields, forest, bushes and bodies of water as defecation sites instead of using toilets at home.
“Against this background, the quest for an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Nigeria cannot be overemphasized – given the sheer scale of the task ahead; especially as we battle with the COVID-19 pandemic that has adversely affected entire livelihoods of people – especially women, girls, children, and persons with disabilities.”
She emphasized that the campaign aligns with WSSCC’s Country Engagement Plan, as well as with other priorities tailored to achieve positive outcomes in Nigeria’s WASH sector, and pledged WSSCC’s support in the achievement of WASH targets at every level of policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria.
In her statement, Ms Jeiyol said WSSCC would continue to support the agenda of the Federal Republic of Nigeria towards Water, Sanitation and Hygiene by 2025 with particular focus on the National ODF Roadmap, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), and leave no one behind – for the period 2019-2020.
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