Delta moves to end open defecation by 2025
• Okowa assures of measures against youth trafficking
The Delta State Government has restated its plans to end open defecation in the state by 2025, with the Clean Delta campaign that will commence in a couple of weeks.
Commissioner for Water Development, Martins Okonta, while explaining the import of the Clean Delta initiative, said it would mark a paradigm shift, as sanitation remains a key component of government’s concern.
He noted that the state government would engage all groups, as revamping of the Warri/Effurun water plant by a concessioner had received government’s backing.
The Commissioner, who spoke with journalists at his office in Asaba, assured that residents would rejoice before the year-end, a declaration that underscored the state’s commitment to clean water for all, by getting the General Manager of the state Water Corporation and Sanitation, to sign a new performance bond.
“That gives the GM an opportunity to perform as none performance will have its consequences. There is no doubt that the state government has spent a lot of money on water schemes, especially the Ogbogonogo Water Scheme.
But there are lots of challenges, as these pipelines have lasted over 50 years having been acquired during the Obafemi Awolowo era.
“Overtime the pipelines have not been maintained and these are conservative pipelines, not the PVC type that is easily converted. Again, due to roads construction, some pipes were routed out.
“That took us to the Ministry of Works, which made them make budgetary provisions for all the infrastructure that were damaged during road construction. We are also to monitor the constructions to ascertain damaged pipes,” he stated.
He explained that a World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that about 47 million Nigerians were still defecating in the public leading to various infections and ailments.
“We are conscious that, with clean water, several water-borne diseases will end and the Clean Delta project will help in sanitising our environment for a better and healthier Delta,” he added.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said the state government had taken measures through various programmes to equip youths with relevant skills that would enable them to contribute to the development of society.
Okowa disclosed this when Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, visited him in Government House, Asaba.
He said that the state government was engaging youths in skills acquisition and agricultural training programmes, a development that had shielded most of them from being trafficked.
Responding, Okah-Donli said she visited the state to see what had been done and what could be done in the fight against trafficking in humans, adding that Delta State already had a taskforce against the menace.