320 communities certified Open Defecation Free in Kaduna State – UNICEF

Three hundred and twenty communities in three local government areas

of Kaduna State were certified Open Defecation Free (ODF) between
January and June 2016, United Nations International Children Emergency
Fund (UNICEF) has said.

Mrs Theresa Pamma UNICEF Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Specialist in Kaduna State, stated this at a side line of a two-day
mid-year review meeting in kaduna.

She said that the communities are in Chikun, Kachia and Kubau local
government areas.

She said that the communities were certified ODF by Kaduna State
Sanitation Task Group.

She said that the number surpassed the 300 ODF communities targeted in 2016.

Pamma told NAN that 280 hand pump boreholes were constructed and 16
others were rehabilitated under Phase I of Sanitation, Hygiene and
Water in Nigeria (SHAWN I) project in the three councils.

“As a result, household water safety has improved in the 320
communities, with 220,000 beneficiaries having access to improved
water sources.

“The objective of the project is to ensure that children and women
have protected access to sufficient safe water, sanitation and hygiene
facilities, ‘’Pamma said.

The WASH specialist said that the three councils had also implemented
local government wide ODF plans, targeting 2,512 communities.

According to her, 748 communities are targeted for attainment of ODF
status, out of which the 320 communities were certified ODF within the
last six months.

She said that 64 primary schools in the three SHAWN council areas were
currently promoting group hand washing using tippy taps innovation.

She said that 7,200 pupils in 24 primary schools in the area had
access to and utilise child-friendly gender-sensitive WASH facilities.

The specialist said that 71 local government officials and teachers
had been trained and had acquired capacity for promotion of hygiene
practices and management of school WASH facilities in SHAWN benefiting
councils.

“Based on the achievement recorded in the three council areas, eight
new councils have been selected to commence the second phase of SHAWN
project in the state,’’ she said.

She identified delay in the release of counterpart and operational
funds, change in government, dismissal and redeployment of key
decision makers and staff verification as major challenges affecting
the project.

She said that 84 communities in Chikun, Kachia and Kubau council areas
were under security threats, thereby temporarily limiting
implementation of intervention programme in the affected areas.

“Implementation of Treasury Single Account has also slowed down the
procurement processes of SHAWN II activities, ‘’ she said.

She urged the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA)
to liase with the Ministry of Finance to ensure timely release of
funds.

Pamma also urged Kaduna state government to conduct training for
selected technical officials as supervisors in charge of construction
of WASH facilities to improve quality of services.

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