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Addressing Open Defecation Through Enhanced Sanitation Services

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The importance of maintaining clean environment and stopping open defecation cannot be over-emphasised.
Experts say that unclean environment and open defecation contribute immensely to several health challenges in any society.
The Head of Environmental Health Department, School of Health Technology, Kankia, Katsina State, Malam Sanusi Umar, said that environmental sanitation reduces spread of diseases, reduces dangers of pollution, and improves one’s life.
Umar also said that open defecation could lead to outbreak of diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and other water and environment related diseases.
Open defecation, he said, could also lead to the pollution of surface water.
That is why governments at all levels, donor agencies, private sector and other stakeholders continue to join hands to encourage a stop to the practice.
Available statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that the practice should be a source to worry to lovers of sanitation and a clean environment.
The data shows that about 779 million people worldwide lack access to safely managed sanitation.
The UN agency further said that out of the number 208 million people still defecate in the open.
According to data from the Nigeria’s Ministry of Water Resources about 46 million people defecate in the open in Nigeria.
WHO has established a nexus between sanitation and the ability of countries to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Some of the SGDs that have links to sanitation are good health and wellbeing (SDG no.3); clean water and sanitation (SDG no. 6); life on land (SDG no. 15); quality education (SDG no.4).
“Safely managed sanitation services will lead to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 6 and essential for the realisation of other SDGs”, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said at a recent event to commemorate World Toilet Day.
The event had as its theme: “Groundwater and Sanitation- Making the Invisible Visible”.
The director said that WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme report on progress of drinking water and sanitation, highlighted the fact that “only 29 per cent of healthcare facilities in Africa have basic sanitation services”.
Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, said the Federal Government was working towards mitigating the impact and spread of certain diseases such as cholera and dysentery by ending open defecation nationwide.
He said the impact had already been felt in Jigawa, the only state to be declared Open Defecation Free (OFD) by National Task Group on Sanitation
“I hope more states, communities, and local governments will embrace the campaign and end open defecation,” he said.
In Katsina State, the Clean Nigeria Campaign, which is aimed at providing more sanitation services to reduce open defecation, is being implemented by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA).
The RUWASSA Executive Director, Alhaji Aminu Dayyabu-Safana, said that the state has recorded success towards ending open defecation by 2025.
Dayyabu-Safana said that out of the 34 Local Governments Areas in the state, 24 have already been certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF).
He also said it was in recognition of the achievement that, “Katsina RUWASSA was awarded as the best performing agency in Nigeria in terms of sanitation” during the just concluded summit on World Toilet Day, 2022, in Abuja.
“If not for the security challenge in the front line local governments, we would have become the first entire state to be certified as ODF,” he said.
He expressed optimism that with improvement in the fight against the insecurity challenge, the remaining local governments would also be certified ODF by the first quarter of 2023.”
“We believed open defecation is the largest contributor of diseases in rural communities.
“So, stopping it has really helped people to improve their health status. We measured that through the report we are getting from our ward sanitation officers.
“Attaining ODF is a milestone, while sustainability is the keyword; we will engage Imams and Pastors to make sermons on Fridays and Sundays on the importance of using toilets and maintaining clean environment,” he said.
Malam Aliyu Muhammad, a resident of Musawa Local Government Area, Katsina State, expressed delight over the efforts to eradicate open defecation in the state.
Muhammad said that it has helped them to live a healthy life and use the money they have been spending on healthcare services for other purposes.
Experts say that a clean environment is a healthy environment. The cleanliness of our environment will be enhanced if every stakeholder contributes the quota to end open defecation in the country.

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Metro

Ogbogolo Kingdom Excited Over Stool Elevation ……Assures Total Peace

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His Royal Highness James Rowland, Obenemaibe III of Ogbogolo Kingdom in Ahoada West Local Government Area, has hailed Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for the elevation of Obenemaibe stool.
Hon. Rowland described the elevation of Obenemaibe III of Ogbogolo kingdom by Chief Wike as one of the best things that could happen to his people.
Hon. Rowland, occupant of the stool, made the assertion in swift reaction to the governor’s pronouncement.
The Obenemaibe III of Ogbogolo kingdom said he lacked words to appreciate Governor Wike for his love, passion and development of his people
He revealed by this singular gesture Governor Wike has proved he is God’s gift to Rivers State and the people of Ogbogolo kingdom will go any length to reciprocate.
According to him, “Today is the best happiest day for us. It is the best day so far because our dear governor and in-law has surprised us with the elevation of Ogbogolo stool.
“I’m most overwhelmed because it happened during my reign.
“What the governor has done is a big lesson that patience is good .
Our people were patient enough and their patience has finally paid off.
“Many thanks to our dear governor. We assure him of our total support during the elections”, he said.
He stressed that peace and unity of the kingdom would remain his watchword.
Hon. Rowland noted that no meaningful development can thrive in environment where there is no peace hence all hands will be on deck to ensure peace of the kingdom.
While commending the governor for the flag-off of Obodhi-Ozochi communities’ roads which will bring development to the rural areas, he expressed joy over the governor’s developmental strides in the state, urging him not to relent as the people of Ogbogolo will give him maximum support.

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Amadabo Palace Lights Up Finima Town

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The landscape and cultural atmosphere of Finima got lighted up yesterday as Amadabo palace in the ancient community was unveiled.
A jubilant atmosphere engulfed the NLNG host community in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State with indigenes and visitors taking a peek at the massive building on Thursday.
The architectural masterpiece houses the Amadabo of Finima.
Tide Metro learnt that the various strata of Finima society are excited to represent themselves at the event yesterday at Sonia Suu in Zone 4, Finima.
The new palace of the Amadabo of Finima. The palace, which sits on 4 plot of land, was described by an urban development enthusiast, who preferred anonymity, as a “quintessential edifice and an architectural marvel”, which celebrates the centuries old enterprise of the Ibani nay Ijaw people of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
A former Public Relations Officer of the Buoye Omuso Brown Major House (BOBH) Asawo, Idatonye Lambert told The Tide Metro over the phone on Wednesday that “the palace has 250 seated capacity palace halls, executive chamber, four bedroom quarters for the Amadabo, secretariat, security control room and watchtower”.
Idatonye Lambert Brown said, “I’m inviting all and sundry to Finima Community today to share in our joy as we unveil our Amadabo’s palace for this and coming generations to behold the awesome beauty of our dear community, the ancient Finima Community.”
The Tide Metro investigations revealed that peace pervades the length and breadth of the community as residents go about their normal activities uninterrupted by anyone, a situation bolstered by the presence of security personnel drawn the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Finima Division as well as other sister security agencies.

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Metro

New Iriebe Yam Zone Gets New CTC

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The Iriebe Yam Zone in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area now has a new caretaker to pilot its affairs.
Mallam Msugh Kukwa-led caretaker committee was inaugurated earlier this week and has sued for peace among members of the market association.
While speaking with newsmen in his office shortly after assuming office, Kukwa urged all factions to sheathe their swords.
Recall that two factions in the market were claiming leadership after the expiration of Alhaji Mohammadu Gembe-led exco.
Kuwka said members need to embrace peace in all forms to move the market forward and sustain development in the state.
He said everyone will be carried along for equity, peace and social harmony in the market, while appealing for total support and collaboration of members.
The new caretaker chairman further commended the timely intervention of the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies.
Kukwa noted that the fatherly role played by Iriebe traditional institution, led by Eze Jeremiah Worenwu, cannot be over emphasised.
He noted that the market had been peaceful since it was established many years ago, where different tribes in Nigeria and beyond transacted their businesses and assisted in building the economic base of the state.
The Chairman of the Iriebe Yam Zone assured the traders that he would work in synergy with all bodies to achieve success
Kukwa hinted on his readiness to hand over to new leadership after election must have been conducted, describing Iriebe as a peaceful community that always protected the interest of strangers
He said marketers and business communities were happy with the way the state governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had transformed and piloted the state.
He assured the governor that Iriebe yam traders will continue to support him.
Some of the traders, who spoke said the new chairman has all it takes to deliver and protect their interest.
They said the new chairman will bring his wealth of experience to bear, pledging to give him necessary support to excel and consolidate on the successes recorded by Alhaji Mohammadu-led executive.

By: Kevin Nengia

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