The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has joined the national effort to eliminate open defecation, improve access to safe water, and improve sanitary practices for all residents of the territory, ensuring that no one is left behind.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, hinted that 39.4 percent of the FCT population practices Open Defecation, describing it as alarming and unacceptable
She made this known while performing the official declaration of a State of Emergency in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in the nation’s capital.
Aliyu also stated that the administration has established the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) as the coordinating body for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) activities in the FCT as part of its efforts to combat open defecation.
She emphasized the FCT Administration’s commitment to achieving the Open Defecation Free (ODF) target by the nationally set deadline of 2025, as well as universal access to water and sanitation by the 2030 SDG target.
The minister emphasized the importance of basic water supply in rural communities, but he also advocated for a concerted effort to defeat open defecation.
According to her; “To achieve the goal of ending open defecation by 2025, all hands must be on deck in both the formal and informal sectors. The children, the youth, women and the elderly, all have important roles to play.
“Community-based organisations, religious and traditional leaders, organised private sector entities, development partners, as well as all government agencies are also expected to work in synergy to fight this menace”.
Specifically, she tasked the area councils chairmen to sign and demonstrate their commitment to end open defecation, stressing that they must create the WASH department, fund it, train and retrain its staff, and follow up with rigorous community engagements.
“Additionally, our traditional institutions across the territory are expected to galvanise their subjects in this fight. Community and household members are enjoined to cooperate with relevant stakeholders, and rise up to own this war against Open Defecation in their respective communities,” she added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said that the country was making steady progress in meeting the objective of ending open defecation by 2025 and improving sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene.
He therefore, charged the institutions at the area councils and communities to drive the campaign through the provision of adequate resources, thereby creating the critical mass of champions across the territory.
Earlier, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that as part of its commitment, the administration had inaugurated a high-powered committee for the assessment and replacement of about 1,000 water compartment toilets as well as repair of vandalized borehole systems across the six area councils and in public schools.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the traditional rulers, chairman of ALGON FCT, UNICEF representative, and other development partners