A network of NGOs working on Environmental, Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) and other stakeholders in Kogi have re-strategised to focus more on attending to end open defecation in the state.
Pastor Roseline Alabi, the State Coordinator of NEWSAN, disclosed in Lokoja, at a stakeholders meeting with focus on Good Hygiene, Good Water Facility and Open Defecation-Free Communities in Kogi.
According to Alabi, open defecation is a loss of dignity for the nation and it gives a very poor hygiene for the children and also the community as a whole.
She stated that thousands of children under five years of age died each year to diarrhea, saying 90 per cent was already attributed to waste water and sanitation which made Nigeria second country with the highest children deaths due to diarrhea globally.
She noted that the solution to open defecation was to create a pool of resource persons to aggressively prioritise sanitation promotion in all the communities across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
She futher urged Nigerians to support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of state of emergency and the natural action plan for the realisation of the wash sector.
She also called for collaboration through development and social organisations to improve sanitation and end open defecation through a well targeted wash sundry at all levels especially for rural areas.
In their separate comments, other stakeholders at the event, commended the program facilitator for their gesture and also promised to work together to achieve the goals and objectives of the meeting.
The General Manager, Kogi State Sanitation and Waste Management Board (KSWMB)/Mr. Abduganiu Sanni, represented by Mr Oladunjoye Falodun, Director Public Enlightenment, solicited for support for the board.
He urged various stakeholders especially the government to support the board in terms of funding, equipment, utility vehicles and recruitment of more staff, saying most of their vehicles and equipment were obsolete and grossly inadequate.
Other stakeholders present at the events were UNICEF, Community and Religious Leaders, Kogi State Sanitation and Waste Management Board, JDPC, NOA, RUWASSA and Ministries of Water Resources and Finance, among others.
The program was powered by MTN, Water Aid, Send a Child to School Organisation, Treasure Bakery and Confectionary, Dave Mercy Pharmacy and Kogi Ministry of Water Resources