The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, has commended the drive and commitment shown by the leadership of Ondo State in ensuring the success of the Open Defecation Free Campaign
Adamu, gave this commendation while being received at the flag-off of the State-wide Sensitization and Advocacy Programme tagged `Clean Home, Happy Family, Use the Toilet’, at the Akure Sports Complex, Ondo State.
He noted that the state had demonstrated the drive to be among the progressive Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) focused States in the country.
He said the flag off of the campaign in Ondo State was another commendable indication of the domestication of the Clean Nigeria Campaign with linkage to family health in Ondo State.
According to the Minister, the action to end Open Defecation in Ondo State and by extension, Nigeria requires the contributions and commitment of everyone.
He therefore urged government at all levels, the civil societies, the private sector, development partners, traditional and religious institutions, and the entire populace to establish and strengthen the institutional structures at all levels to drive the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Campaign.
While calling for behavioral change to ensure sustainability of the ODF Campaign, the minister emphasised that political leadership and Public financing was critical in driving the process of achieving an Open Defecation Free Country.
This, he noted, was critical to addressing the provision of WASH services in all government schools, health care facilities and public places especially markets and motor parks.
He however urged the state government to create an enabling environment for private sector players to invest in the sanitation value chain, which was expected to make significant contributions to the economic indices of the state.
Responding, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, noted that the flag-off of the Open Defecation Free Campaign in the state would promote improvement in the health and general well-being of the people.
Akeredolu, represented by his deputy governor, Hon. Orimisan Ayedatiwa, urged Ondo people to have a change of behavior and give up old traditional beliefs and notions about open defecation practices which threatens public health.
High point of the flag-off ceremony was the presentation of Sanitation flag to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources by the Ondo State environmental workers.
Present at the event, were representatives of UNICEF, African Development Bank, members of Ondo State House of Assembly, traditional and religious leaders, market women, health and environmental workers, amongst others.