WSSCC National Coordinator: "We must scale up sanitation and hygiene interventions"

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By Olajide Adelana ABUJA, Nigeria – WSSCC’s National Coordinator for Nigeria, Elizabeth Jeiyol, has commended Nigeria’s effort to institutionalize and diversify Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at all administrative levels. She gave the commendation in Abuja on 19 March 2020 during a two-day sensitization workshop for state focal officers, as part of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign and the project launch of Accelerating Access to Rural Sanitation in Nigeria (AATRISAN).

The workshop, which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with ToiletPRIDE Initiative, could not have come at a better time given Nigeria’s alarming WASH statistics, says Ms Jeiyol.

“As state focal officers, you have a frontline duty that is critical to the attainment of Nigeria’s WASH targets – which are crucial to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You must, therefore, prioritize the well-being of every person, especially women, girls, children and persons with disabilities in carrying out your responsibilities. Also, all of us gathered here must ensure the attainment of the Clean Nigeria Campaign targets.”

Ms Jeiyol also encouraged stakeholders to ensure the success of the Clean Nigeria Campaign and AATRISAN project by holistically adhering to WASH-related measures. She reiterated WSSCC’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in achieving its WASH targets in line with the SDGs.

Participants at the workshop were taken through different topics relevant to the scaling up of WASH in Nigeria by representatives from UNICEF, WaterAid and United Purpose.

United Purpose’s experience in ‘institutional triggering’ – a method used to effect change at the institutional level gained through the Global Sanitation Fund-supported Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) programme – was widely discussed and commended by stakeholders at the event.

“We have been using Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), but sometimes it doesn’t bear much-needed fruits, thus the need for institutional triggering,” says United Purpose’s Julius Awu. Mr Awu discussed the success story of how Obanikilu Local Government Area (LGA) in Cross River State became the first LGA to achieve open defecation free (ODF) status in Nigeria and the huge role that institutional triggering played in achieving that result.

While delivering his opening address, the Head of the focal Ministry in charge of WASH in Nigeria and Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, acknowledged that access to WASH services is a crucial part of the socio-economic development of any nation and should not be ignored.