The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) on Friday disclosed that it is committed to making Kaduna State open defecation-free by 2025.
This is as the Fund also stated that it has certified 1,087 communities in the state open defecation-free.
UNICEF Kaduna, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialist, Theresa Pamma made this known in Kwoi, Jaba local government area of Kaduna State, during an awareness campaign for the construction of smart toilets in the area.
Pamma said the implementation of Sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project commenced in Kaduna state in 2014.
“As at today we now have 22 local government areas participating in the project. The main objectives of the project funded by DFID and managed by UNICEF is to increase access to sanitation and Hygiene and to provide access to improved water sources in communities.
“The focus of the programme today is one of the strategies employed by UNICEF to increase access to improve sanitation across the project LGAs in Kaduna state.
“We started with the community led sanitation where we looked at the behavior of people and we apply some tools which trigger people into taking appropriate actions that will provide sanitary facilities in their household and institutions in the community.”
She also said “We have 1,087 communities that have been fully certified as having stopped open defecation.
“We also facilitated the development of a roadmap for Kaduna to end open defication by 2025 and supports the project LGAs to develop their own plans on how to tackle open defication within the locality”
According to her , “We are working hard to make sure that Kaduna State contribute to the attainment of the sustainable development goals in Nigeria.
“We support the community to make sure the facilities are provided and it will contribute to the elimination of open defication in the communities and LGA.
On his part, a consultant with UNICEF, Sam Adejo Okedi, explained to the community that,
” There are different types of toilets you can build, before now we use ceramic tiles to build toilets, but we find out that this is a bit expensive. So working with UNICEF we are now producing different types and some of these ones are half the price of the ceramics.
“With time the Toilet Business Owners (TBOs) will visit you from house to house. We are also working with a micro finance bank to give loans to those that are interested, this loans is without interest because UNICEF have talked to them on your behalf.
” Our prayers and hope is that the people should work with neighbors to have theirs so that we can avoid diseases and any epidemic in the local government area.
In her contribution, Grace Caleb, Jaba LGA WASH facilitator said the awareness is for those without toilets to constructs and those with one already to improve on what they have.
“We do other projects like the water safety plan, hygiene promotion training our plan is to eliminate open defication as soon as possible.” she said.
Some of the community leaders who spoke at the event expressed satisfaction with the effort of UNICEF and promised to mobilise the community to make sure every household constructs their own smart toilet facilities.