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Open Defecation: WaterAid, SSDO Tasks Enugu LGA Legislative Heads, Community Leaders To Rise Up Against Act In Their Domains.


  …….Insist On Bye Laws.

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  WaterAid, and it’s implementing partner, South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSDO), have enjoined heads of local government Council Areas and Community leaders in Enugu State to use their influential positions in championing the course of ending open defecation (ODF) in their respective localities.

The organizations, reminded the people of the inherent danger in ODF, stressing that it poses serious health risk and Environmental pollution in Communities across Nigeria, Enugu state inclusive. 

To this end, they posited that for the uncivilized behavior to be eradicated in the Communities, there is need for the enactment of bye laws by the respective Council Area as well as total attitudinal change on issues of hygiene and Sanitation among the citizens.

 

Speaking weekend in Nsukka during a 2-day Sanitation Advocacy Workshop organized by WaterAid in partnership with SSDO, for local government Areas legislative and Community leaders in Igbo Eze North, Udenu, and Nsukka local government areas, the State Lead, WaterAid Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Akpanufot, said the time has come for all the Stakeholders to join hands together in curbing the primitive conduct in their localities.

He stressed that although, the enactment of bye laws by the  Council Areas to check the Act was a welcome development, but issue of attitudinal change on sanitation and hygiene must be taken very seriously by the people, insisting that every household in the localities must have a toilet facility as part of measure to eradicate ODF practice in the areas. 

According to Akpanufot, bye laws without good hygiene behavior by the people will amount to nothing, pointing out that no development partner would be willing to come to  provide water facility in a Community where ODF is being practiced.

He regretted that despite  enlightenment campaigns being staged by various Organizations, an alarming  number of people in the state are still indulging  in open defecation practices, exposing residents to various  health hazards.

Our Correspondent writes that The 2-day workshop was also designed towards Empowering Community Leaders and the LGAS Councils to develop and implement Sanitation bye laws and orders in curbing ODF in the three Council areas.

It was facilitated by the Sanitation Officer of the Small Town Unit of Enugu State Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Emmanuel Obuna.

In his remark, Executive Director of SSDO, Dr. Stanley Ilechukwu, who spoke through the Head of programmes, Mr. Udochukwu Egwim, stated that ODF, is something every one in the society  should rise up against because of it’s health implications on the people.

He explained that the workshop was organized under the Bill and Mehinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) project aimed at addressing defecation challenges in Enugu state.

Egwim, hinted that WaterAid, in partnership with SSDO, and with support from (BMGF), is implementing a project to review existing (WASH) policies, aligning them with  the African Sanitation policy Guidelines (ASPG), adding that the project is equally targeted  at strengthening Sanitation and Hygiene policies by utilizing ASPG as a guide through inclusive processes.

In a presentation, titled: ‘the role of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Community Development’, professor Umoh Boniface of the Institute for Development Studies University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, Enugu Campus, enlightened the participants on proper hygiene and waste  management, which guarantees healthy living.

The University Don, said WASH enhances Citizens ability to maximize their potentials, emphasizing the need for attitudinal change among the people on issue of ODF.

Earlier in a presentation, the Ministry of Water Resources Sanitation Officer, Mr. Obuna, had reeled out some statistics revealing a huge number of people who still practice ODF in the state.

He disclosed that 1.76 million, that is about (39.8) percentage of people, practices ODF in the state, adding that about 60,000 +sixty thousand) under 5 children die of water related disease annually.

During the programme, WaterAid and SSDO, had taken the local government areas representatives and Community leaders through the process of drafting community and LGA bye laws against open defecation.

The organizers also presented to  them sample of what had been done previously in one of the LGAS in the State, IgboEtiti, so as to enable them come up with a draft copy after which the Organizations will take the process further with a view to harmonizing them into something better 

It is expected that after the harmonization, the draft document will be return back to the LGAS and Communities for review after which they will  come up with final draft copy which will be passed to the Council areas to enable them do the needful and pass them into laws.  


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