Nov. 24, 2022
The Katsina State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), says the outbreak of diseases has reduced drastically in the 24 local governments declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
The RUWASSA Executive Director, Alhaji Aminu Dayyabu-Safana, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Katsina.
Dayyabu-Safana said that there is also a level of ‘compliance’ and ‘sustainability’ in the certified communities across the affected local governments.
“Feedback we are receiving from our ward sanitation officers in the certified communities, indicates that there is a significant decrease in the number of people going to hospital for medical treatment, because we believe that open defecation is the largest contributor of diseases in rural communities.
“So, stopping it has really helped to improve the health status of people, and we measured that through the report we are getting from our ward sanitation officers,” he said.
In recognition of these achievements, he said, Katsina RUWASSA was honoured as the best performing agency in Nigeria in terms of sanitation during the just-concluded summit on World Toilet Day, 2022, in Abuja.
“The summit provided avenue for the relevant stakeholders in sanitation sector to create awareness on the use of toilets and the need for having clean environment in the world.
“You know Katsina state has been participating in the Clean Nigeria Campaign, it has ensured that at least 24 out of 34 local governments were certified Open Defecation Free (ODF), and this has made us second after Jigawa.
“If not because of the insecurity challenge affecting local governments, we will have became the first state to be certified ODF,” he said.
The executive director said that with improvement in the fight against insecurity challenges, the remaining local governments would also be certified ODF, hopefully by the first quarter of 2023.
He further emphasised the need for the ODF certified local governments to continue to strive to sustain their status.
Dayyabu-Safana said that the agency has already put in place necessary structures that would enable them to ensure sustainability.
He noted that they would continue to enlighten the public on the importance of clean environment and dangers associated with open defecation.
Dayyabu-Safana explained that they would also continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to scale up water and sanitation services in primary healthcare centres, schools, markets and other public places.
“Attaining ODF is a milestone, while sustainability is the keyword; we will engage Imams and Pastors to preach sermons on Fridays and Sundays, on the importance of using toilets and maintaining clean environment. (NAN)