The Ogun state Governor, prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration would not tolerate open defection in the state, saying that the sanitation sector will be restructured
The governor has also declared emergency in the water sector in the state.
Abiodun made this known on Friday during the official flag off of an emergency programme for Water sector, sanitation and Hygiene tagged ”WASH”
He said that, a Stereering Committee for the implementation of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme (WASH) that will address urban, sub-urban and rural water supply and sanitation needs and aspiration of residents in line with goal six of the Sustainable development Goals (SDG), would be put in place immediately.
He noted that, the declaration has signal a high level of political will within the State to provide a focused attention, governance structure and appropriate budgetary provision to deliver on goal six of the Sustainable development Goals, which according to him will provide sustainable, equitable and reliable drinking water as well as improve sanitation services to the people.
Abiodun submitted that, the Nigeria WASH Poverty Diagnostic report of 2007, indicated that 61 percent of Nigerians have access to improved water with only 31 percent having improved water in their premises, saying that this led to the declaration of State of Emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) by the Federal government.
According to him, Ogun State has commenced a developmental agenda and strategy to ensure efficiencies of operation committing to the rehabilitation of infrastructures, infuse professionals in the sector, modernize value chain operations, set key performance indicators (KPIs) and created an enabling legal and regulatory framework for Public Private Partnership to thrive.
Governor Abiodun acknowledged that residents of the State are going through serious and indicative “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene crisis”, as only 14.9 percent of residents had access to clean water through public utilities, while access to improved sanitation was 35 percent with 22 percent of open defecation, particularly in the rural areas.
He said though Abeokuta, the State capital and other major cities in the State are fast becoming commercial centres, they lack adequate portable water supply sand sanitation which existing coverage was below 15 percent.
Abiodun who described safe drinking water, good hygiene and sanitation as crucial to the health and economic well being of the people, observed that access to these basic needs was still a challenge to the people who live in the big and small towns and in the rural areas, adding that their absence has led to preventable diseases, which claim lives, especially of chilldren under five years.
“It is therefore my considered plan of action as the Governor of this State, giving several challenges the water secto pose to our dear State and our strong commitment address lingering issues in the water sector. I hereby DECLARE a STATE OF EMERGENCY in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and the official flag off of Open Defecation in Ogun State.
“We now subscribe to the implementation of the National WASH Action Plan in order to reverse the regressing trend through ensuring access to safe drinking water and ending of open Defecation”, the Goverrnor declared.
He therefore, maintained that his administration would continue to invest through effective Partnership with development partners including the Federal government, United Nations Chilldren Education Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank to ensure that clean portable water and sanitation get to the door steps of every household in the State.