103 Osun Rural Communities free from open defecation
Not less than one hundred and three rural communities in Osun State, South West Nigeria are now free from Open Defecation through the implementation of Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Projects. 50 out of the 304 trigger communities are also approaching the status of open defecation, representing 50 percent of all rural communities that engage in open defecation in the state.
The Osun State UNICEF/Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Consultant, Olowole Modekai said this at a Two Day Workshop on a Capacity Building of Media Network in Osun held at Ijebu – Ijesa.
The consultant explained that the workshop engaged media practitioners to evolve strategies to promote water sanitation and hygiene. He said globally, 2.4 billion people have no access to improved sanitation while 946 million people defecate in the open.
He said 2387 improved latrines have been constructed in Osun and 4,800 school children now have equitable access to hygienic water.
Mordecai said at least, six hundred and sixty there million people across the world also do not have access to clean water.
The Osun state UNICEF/WASH Consultant explained that lack of clean water, improved sanitation and open defecation account for nearly 1.7 billion cases of diarrhea diseases every year and about 800,000 children death.
According to the United Nations International Emergency Fund and the European Union, nine out of ten of those who defecate in the open live in rural areas
Modekai said one of the specific goals of the WASH is to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all in the current SDGs.
He disclosed that, 215 water facilities have been completed out of 259 awarded through the collaboration of state government, Rural and Water Environmental Sanitation Agency (RUWESA) and EU/UNICEF to ensure equitable access to water supply for 65,500 people, especially the rural areas.
The UNICEF consultant said though 7,515 people engage in open defecation, virtually all houses in the two focal local governments, Ayedaade and Odo-otin where WASH programmes is currently underway have constructed household latrines.
Modekai explained that the target of Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme is to ensure that 120,000 people in the state have equitable access to water supply in 2017.
Also speaking at the workshop, Director Sanitation and Health, RUWESA, Segun Moyinoluwa said the state has been able to achieve the feet because of government commitment to and prompt payment of counterpart funds to the partnering international organisations.
Moyinoluwa commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for giving priority to healthy living of the people.
He said Osun State Government fulfilment of 100 percent of the counterpart contribution involved in the WASH despite the deteriorated in the nationâ€™s economy.
He said the involvement of the state government in Water and Sanitation Hygiene is in fulfilment of governor Aregbesola Six Integral Action Plans to promote healthy living in the state.
According to Moyinoluwa, through the WASH and other interventions, 1000 boreholes have been provided in 800 rural and urban communities with the assistance of EU/UNICEF and other partners.
These he said have significantly reduced water related diseases and promote sanitation and hygiene in the state.
He stated that the agency programme has increased school enrolments, enhance human dignity with the prevention of open defecation and provided opportunities for the remotest rural areas to have access to drinkable water in the state of Osun.
Sanitation and Health urged the media practitioners to support the agency and other partnering agency in promoting the culture of sanitation and hygiene in the state.
Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo