The Programme Manager,
Concern Universal Nigeria, Mr Nanpet Chuktu, said on Tuesday that communities cannot achieve an open defecation free status without availability of water.
Chuktu told newsmen in Abuja that the role water plays in any society could not be over emphasised.
According to him, with availability of water, communities practicing behavioural change through CLTS could achieve an open defecation-free status easily.
He said that there was the need for all tiers of government to improve allocation of appropriate resources for scaling up sanitation and hygiene.
Chuktu said it was a matter for regret that diarrhoea alone kills no fewer than 150,000 under-five children annually.
According to the programme manager, for the poorest Nigerians, diarrhoea is responsible for one-quarter of all child deaths.
Chuktu said that the group was focusing on expanding its WASH programming in the South-East states, saying it was one of the regions mostly affected by diseases related to poor water.
Chuktu said since its interventions in Benue and Cross River states, no fewer than 820 communities had claimed open-defecation-free (ODF) status, with 210,725 people gaining access to improved sanitation.
He said landlords and tenants has begun constructing toilets in their homes, within four years of implementing the RUSHPIN programme in some communities in Cross River state.
This, he said could be replicated in other communities when all stakeholders put deliberate policies in place to enable more people live healthier.
He said the group introduced the CLTS which empowers all communities to collectively change their sanitation and hygiene behaviour and ensure that every community member uses a toilet and practices good hygiene.
Chuktu said Benue and Cross River states’ delay to pay up their counterpart funding was still a challenge to scaling up sanitation and hygiene in more Local Government Areas in the two states.
He stressed the need for this to be done, to reduce the increasing rate of open defecation and its effects to its po
The RUSHPIN is an initiative of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the Global Sanitation Fund, the grant giving body of the UN WSSCC.
The innovation sees international funding matched by national, regional and local funding, setting a framework for replication to achieve the national target of ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
The Programme Manager,