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Communal conflicts, others threaten UNICEF ODF programme in Cross River


Incessant communal conflicts in Cross River State are threatening the sustainability of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) free status achieved by some council in the state through the intervention of UNICEF.

Specifically, UNICEF intervened in Yakurr and Boki as a pilot scheme to end open defecation and both councils have achieved ODF status but communal conflicts in Nko, Assiga and Eyima, Boje, Iso-Bendeghe, uncooperative nature of some traditional rulers, poor mobilization and late attendance by participants in some centres, expectation of transport fare by some community members, conflicts among some WASH Committee (WASHCOM) members and some weak WASHCOMs and WASHCOM Federation members are said to be some of the factors threatening its sustainability.

This was part of the findings of a two day report on WASH clinic held in Yakurr recently and signed by Ejeje Patrick of Yakurr WASH Department, saying the WASH Clinic was predicated on a system for periodic review and appraisal of programme activities, reconciling achievements made in the course of programme implementation, identifying challenges and lessons that were learnt in the course of implementation and thus setting out strategies and action plans for improved performance towards achieving national and international development milestones, such as, Elimination of Open Defecation by 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.


However charting the way forward for Yakurr ODF sustainability, ensuring functionality and sustainability of WASH programme and projects and for community ownership, the clinic with 1009 participants drawn from different fields, recommended, “continuous engagement with communities by Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), WASH Department and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to promote community ownership and sustainability of programme,” amongst some other recommendations.

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