24 Katsina LGAs now open defecation free —Official

No fewer than 24 out of the 34 local government areas of Katsina State have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), the Clean Nigeria Campaign has said.

The Coordinator of the campaign, Mrs. Chizoma Opara, disclosed this on Monday in Katsina at the opening of a 2-day Northwest zonal retreat on ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ campaign.

Represented by her Deputy, Alhaji Musa Lawal, Mrs. Opara said that the best results of the Clean Nigeria Campaign were recorded in the North West, particularly in Katsina and Jigawa.

“These two states are already far ahead of other states, with Jigawa almost being declared as state-wide ODF, with 26 out of 27 LGAs already declared Open Defecation Free, while 24 out of 34 LGAs in Katsina State are Open Defecation Free.

“At this point, therefore, I wish to commend the Katsina State Government for taking the lead to host the first zonal review meeting for the North-West and to showcase the success stories from the zone.

“I also charge you to intensify your efforts in achieving the state-wide Open Defecation Free for the entire zone,” the coordinator said.

Chizoma expressed the hope that other states in the zone would learn from the two states and take home key action points to drive the campaign to the next level.

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“They should also contribute to our national aspiration. We must also explore the option of private sector involvement, which will increase the uptake of public toilets,” she added.

The coordinator explained that the campaign was aimed at mobilising high-level political support, resources, and the entire populace toward building a new culture of safe sanitation.

“Following the national launch of the campaign, many states followed suit with the launch of their state-level campaigns and target dates which ranged from 2022 to 2025.

“As of December 2021, all states have launched their campaigns which is a good indication of the commitment to driving the campaign.

“However, despite these state-level official launches, not much is going on regarding implementation and achievement of results in meeting the campaign objectives in many states,” she noted.

She said there was no commensurate allocation of human and financial resources needed to drive the campaign in most states and LGAs.

“As of May 2022, 83 Open Defecation Free LGAs have been recorded. While this is good progress, it is not significant enough to put us on the course of our national target of an Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025. 

“Also, the spread of the 83 Open Defecation Free LGAs is limited to 12 out of the 36 states and the FCT. This means that 24 states and the FCT have not been able to contribute any Open Defecation Free LGAs to the national statistics,” she said.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Katsina State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Aminu Dayyabu, said the retreat was an opportunity for participants to restrategise on ending open defecation.

“Katsina State has already gone far with the current total number of 24 LGAs that have attained Open Defecation Free status. This was achieved through the support of the state government.

“The government under the leadership of Gov. Aminu Masari has been supporting such efforts through funding and providing enabling environment to our agency,” he added.

According to reports, the retreat was organised by the Katsina State Government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. 

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