WASH: UNICEF Chief Tours Kaduna Health Sector, Hails Gov. Sani's Commitment
By Lola Seriki-Idahosa, Kaduna
Tracereporters –The Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Dr. Jane Bevan visited Kaduna State to ascertain the level of progress of WASH implementation and assessment of communities that have attained Open Defecation Free (ODF) status as well as to interact with stakeholders on the achievements and challenges of WASH service delivery.
This was contained in a press statement signed by Bulus Godwin, Public Affairs Officer KADRUWASSA, said the two day tour witness courtesy call on the commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon. Sadiq Mamman Lagos in his office, ALGON Chairman, two LG, office of the Deputy Governor and others.
Before embarking on the visit to Kudan and Igabi LGA’S the Director General of RUWASSA Engr.Mubarak Shehu Ladan led the team on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon. Sadiq Mamman Lagos in his office.
 The Chairman of Kudan LGA who is also the current ALGON Chairman, Kaduna State Alh. Dr. Shua’ibu Bawa Jaja was also in attendance to receive her.
In her remark the Chief of WASH congratulated the new Commissioner on his appointment. In the same vein the Commissioner promised UNICEF of his readiness, support and commitment as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene are integral parts of life.
In Kudan LGA, the team led by the Director General RUWASSA Engr.Mubarak Shehu Ladan were briefed by the Chairman at the Council Chambers where he stressed the importance of RUWASSA and UNICEF in the provision of water and Sanitation.
Jaja also promised to use his power and influence to push other LGA’S that are yet to attain ODF status to do all it takes to achieve the feat. In his remark, the DG RUWASSA thanked the Chief of WASH for their support and encouragement, he also mentioned that Nigeria currently has 104 LGA’S that are ODF in fifteen(15) states and Kaduna State has seven (7) LGA’S which Kudan is one of them and he considers this as ‘great feat’.
In the same vein the chief of WASH thanked the chairman and his council for the warmth reception and consider it fantastic. She maintained that there’s need for more investment in WASH and also information sharing with other LGA’S on the successes recorded in Kudan LGA as ODF so that by 2025 Kaduna State would fully be ODF.
The Vice chairman Alh. Lawal Danladi led the team for the assessment.
KYAUDAI COMMUNITY SABON GARI WARD KUDAN LGA. On arrival at Kyaidai the chief of WASH asked the community if they have a  WASHCOM leader which they answered in the affirmative. The Chief of WASH Nigeria expressed her delight to be in the community and further asked if they were currently facing any challenges maintaining the facility.? Yes Abubakar Dan Asabe. Ok. She continued, I am pleased to be here, do you have any problem maintaining the facility and he said the problem is inadequate funds because we only charge #50 per household and some pay #500 at the end of the month, while some take the responsibility of paying for others who cannot afford it.
The Chief of WASH was impressed with the level of Sanitation and Hygiene in the community.
UNGWAN SAKO COMMUNITY KUDAN LGA. On arrival at the second community, the Chief of WASH Dr. Bevan asked if they have a WASHCOM leader and they responded positively. The WASHCOM leader, Mallam Mua’wuya Jafar thanked UNICEF for coming and also highlighted areas of relief since the arrival of the facility as before it came their children go as far as 1.5km to get water and the source of the water is not always good leading to serious outbreaks like; Cholera, Typhoid and other diseases but now with this facility the rate of outbreaks and illnesses has drastically reduced you can go to the hospital to confirm. Also because the children have to go that far to get water, it has resulted to school dropouts but now the level of enrolment has improved.
On the issue of maintenance, each household contributes #20 daily, while the collection is weekly and there are about twenty one (21) households who have reticulated, they pay #500 monthly. Jafar explained that at the end of the month they sometimes realise about #8000 to #10000 which is not enough for maintenance, so they resolved especially during rainy season to invest the money into farming and save some amount incase of any breakdown. According to him they have two(2) farms for maize and rice, women are also involved in WASHCOM decision making. He further stated that they currently do not have a bank account because of the proximity of Kudan and Zaria as you can only find a bank in Zaria.
The team visited the District Head of Kudan at his Palace were the Chief of WASH admonished the leadership of the District Head where she said ‘ people like you make all the difference’. In his remark the District Head, Alh. Haliru Muhammad maintained that open defecation comes with so many problems, the best is to stop it.
The team in rounding off the visit at Kudan met with WASHCOM members at the LGA level to seek more collaboration and support in maintaining all the facilities. The leader of  the WASHCOMS,  Mallam Mu’azu Abdullahi from Doka ward made an appeal to UNICEF and RUWASSA for more boreholes and also rehabilitation of the existing ones. Also in the meeting Toilet Business Owners (TBO’s) were encouraged by Dr.Bevan to  promote and give room for more participation so that other people can invest and continue the good work. She thanked all for their patience, understanding and also expressed renewed  commitment to support the project.
On the second day the team visited two (2) Primary Healthcare facilities at Mando – Afaka and Rigachikun to assess the level of compliance on Hygiene and Sanitation which the chief rated the hospitals as ‘fantastic’. Also there was a review meeting at Ministry of Local Government Affairs between UNICEF, staff of RUWASSA, representatives of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, WASH Coordinators in some selected LGA’s and STG’s.
The chief of WASH also visited the Deputy Governor Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe in her office were she applauded Kaduna State Government for the progress recorded in improving access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) in the State, in the same vein she made a commitment of continuous support by UNICEF towards achieving Open Defecation Free status in the entire State by 2025.
In his remark the Director General RUWASSA Engr.Mubarak Shehu Ladan highlighted that seven (7) LGA’s have so far attained the ODF status, namely; Jaba, Giwa, Kaura, Kudan, Soba, Kauru and Jama’a.
Also the Deputy Governor thanked UNICEF for supporting Kaduna State in WASH and other critical sectors and assured Dr. Bevan of Kaduna State Government’s commitment to the development of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
 Kaduna RUWASSA Gets Two Additional Local Goverments of Soba and Kauru Open Defecation Free
It will be recalled that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on the 28th October, 2019 declared Nigeria as the country with the highest number of people practicing Open defecation in the world. It is estimated that about 48 million practice open defecation and also about 95 million Nigerians do not have access to basic Sanitation services resulting to about 1.3 percent of GDP or #455 billion is expended annually in a bid to provide basic sanitation services which has become an issue of great concern to public health. The practice has had a negative effect on the populace especially children in the areas of health and education and also contributed to the country’s inability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) adopted in 2015 by all member nations.
According to WASSNORM survey (2021) about 6% of the  population still practice Open defecation while access to basic Sanitation is at 31%. Achieving state wide OD has been the target of the State and efforts have been intensified in all the LGA’s for this purpose.
To this effect, the domestication of the Road Map for the elimination of ODF Kaduna State has been implementing WASH activities using various approaches with Community Lead Total Sanitation (CLTS) taking the lead to attain state wide ODF by 2025.
This has been yielding results as two additional Local Governments have currently attained the ODF status in Kaduna State, namely: Soba and Kauru. These are in addition to two LGAs that were Validated in December 2022.
 Earlier before the declaration was announced, the Director General of Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Engr Mubarak Shehu Ladan  made a commitment to make Kaduna State Open Defecation Free by 2025 with the continuous support of Government, Development partners, relevant stakeholders and the citizens, emphasising that Sanitation business is everyone’s business. He made these remarks during the debriefing meeting with members of the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS) that came for the validation exercise in Kaduna.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Esther Didi Walson- Jack (MNI) through a press released on 26th July, 2023 declared the validation of Soba and Kauru LGA’s as ODF bringing the total number to seven (7) LGA’s in Kaduna State to include; Jaba, Giwa, Kaura, Jama’a, Kudan, Soba and Kauru.

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