Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bauchi State has tasked the state government and elected representatives to prioritise Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services in the budget.
The group made the call at a news conference to organised to commemorate the 2023 World Toilet Day (WTD), with support from WaterAid Nigeria on Friday in Bauchi.
Mr Jinjiri Garba, the Chairman, Bauchi State Network of of Civil Society Organisations (BASNEC), said this would ensure the provision of potable water and sanitation facilities in the state.
He also called for collaborative efforts to save citizens from cholera and other diseases related to poor sanitation and hygiene.
He added that “WASH remains a low priority area on many political agendas and has left several citizens without basic handwashing facilities and sanitation.”
Garba pointed out that a collaborative approach between government, civil society, and business is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of sanitation.
He lamented that 21 percent of Bauchi State population still practice open defecation, while 72 percent of the total number of schools, 93 percent of the total number of healthcare facilities lack amenities.
He said, “97 percent of public places do not have access to basic WASH facilities according to WASH National Outcome
Routine Mapping (NORM) 2021,”
“The state government’s overall goal is to influence, deliver, and scale-up WASH solutions that are sustainable, climate-resilient, gender-responsive, as well as address key cross-cutting elements of other development goals, including
health, education, poverty, economic growth, and nutrition.”
He applauded WaterAid Nigeria and its partners for their efforts towards achieving safer water, decent toilets, and Hygiene Behaviour Change Campaigns to achieve an open defecation-free state by 2025.