By Adeola Tukuru
A member of the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS), Mr Wale Elekolusi, has called on the Cross River state government to pay up the counterpart funds to scale up sanitation and hygiene promotion.
In an interview recently in Abuja, Elekolusi, explained that Cross Rivers state is among the states benefiting from the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) Programme.
He said the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), the global body funding the programme had already threatened to withdraw funds for the second phase of the project.
According to him, paying the counterpart funds will go a long way to enable the inclusion of more Local Government Areas in the states.
He further explained that recent survey showed that with the introduction of the RUSHPIN programme, there has been a drastic reduction in water borne diseases and hospitalisation.
“Since the introduction of RUSHPIN programme in community and other parts of the local government area, the people have been taught on the importance of building and using toilets.”
“Children no longer fall ill from diarrhoea and cholera, the flies in the community has also reduced, we want the state government to pay up the pledge to enable more communities benefit from the programme.”
He urged the state government to live up to its pledge towards reducing open defection practice and scaling up hygiene promotion.
Mr Wale also called on all tiers of government to pay adequate attention to sanitation and hygiene, saying this would make Nigeria meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The document on National Roadmap on Making Nigeria Open Defecation-Free by 2025 shows that improved sanitation and hygiene is fundamental to child-survival, socio-economic development and well-being of Nigerians at large.