UNICEF commends communities over open defecation free status
The United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has commended the 51 communities in Aguata, Anambra State, declared Open Defecation Free, urging Governor Willie Obiano to ensure other communities are free by 2017.
Speaking on the occasion of Open Defecation Free celebration in Aguata Local Government Area, organised by the state government in collaboration with European Union/UNICEF, the UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mr. Anom Saaondo disclosed that 481 new latrines have been constructed
He said the state has benefited immensely from UNICEF sanitation programme, assuring that the agency would continue to support the communities.Saaondon commended Obiano for his developmental efforts and cooperation with donor agencies, saying only Anambra has paid the N24m counterpart fund, among all other states assisted by EU/UNICEF.
In his welcome address, the Executive Chairman/Head of Local Government Administration, Aguata council, Jideani Robbert, disclosed that the exercise for certification and validation of ODF started in 2012/2013 under Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP), when in 2014/2015 Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), was implemented in 224 WASH communities.
He said the communities were monitored, mentored and followed up by WASH Unit for compliance, and 81 claimed ODF, while 51 were certified and are being celebrated.
Jideani explained that the monitoring is in batches, and urged the remaining communities to sustain their ODF claims by constant follow up, expecting that the council would achieve a sustainability of sanitation–ODF status.
He added that 10 WASH communities were certified in 2013, while about 120 communities are claiming ODF, perching verification exercise that is still ongoing.