Nigeria to attain Open Defecation Free status in 2025 – FG
The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources says it had developed a strategic document to ensure that the country attains an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by 2025.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr Musa Ibrahim said this on Monday in Calabar during declaration of Bekwarra Local Government Area (LGA) as ODF.
Ibrahim added the country was implementing a five year Global Sanitation Fund Support for Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (RUSHPIN) programme with special focus on sanitation and hygiene in Cross River and Benue states.
He said however that the ministry was also conscious of the various challenges facing the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector including the problem of low capacity, inadequate funding and poor coordination.
“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Water Resources is committed to pursuing the collaborative efforts required in addressing these issues and to this end, it has developed the strategic document -making Nigeria open defecation free by 2025, ‘’ he said.
Ibrahim, who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Awe, a director in the ministry further disclosed that a National Roadmap, known as ODF roadmap was launched in 2016.
According to him, the ministry also launched a Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme designed as a national collaborative instrument for improvement in access to water supply and sanitation in rural areas.
Ibrahim described Cross River as an example of a state desirous of attaining 100 per cent ODF in all LGAs, adding that Bekwarra had become the third LGA in the state to attain ODF status.
The permanent secretary further appealed to the state government to pay its counterpart fund to enable it scale up in the remaining LGAs.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr Gab Odu-Orji commended stakeholders who worked for the attainment of the ODF in Bekwarra LGA.
He said that all the 35 communities of the LGA are now ODF.
Mr Ita Ikpeme, the Director-General of Cross River Rural Water Supply And Sanitation Agency (RUWATSSA) said apart from Bekwarra, two other local government areas -Boki and Abi had attained some stage on their way to attaining ODF status.