The Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, has taken steps to strengthen partnership with Civil Society Organisations and media in the implementation of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programmes.
The partnership is to also ensure effective implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme in the state.
PEWASH National Programme Coordinator, Mrs Jummai Wakaso, stated this in Kaduna on Thursday during a meeting with CSOs and journalists to strengthen partnership and collaboration for the project.
Wakaso, who was represented by Mr Magaji Abubakar, Chief Water Engineer of the programme, explained that the 15-year programme was designed to improve rural water supply sanitation and hygiene.
She explained that the national multi-sectoral collaborative programme inaugurated in 2016 was being driven by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources toward achieving SDGs 6.1 and 6.2.
She said that the main objective was to prioritize the achievement of 100 per cent access to water supply and improved sanitation by 2030 in rural areas.
The coordinator said that the expected outcome was for all rural inhabitants to have access to safe and sustainable water and improved sanitation and hand washing facilities.
“The programme is based on a counterpart machine grant between the Federal and States government, where the federal government provides the same amount a state government provides for the programme.
“The pilot programme has been successfully completed in Kano and Ogun states with the rehabilitation, upgrade, and construction of 738 water supply facilities in eight local government areas.
“After the pilot, the programme was scaled up to the remaining states and 34 states have indicated interest out of which 19 states were currently implementing the programme.
According to her, the ability of Nigeria to increase access to water supply and sanitation depends largely on a systematic and holistic approach that coordinates all stakeholders’ inputs.
Also speaking, the PEWASH Communication Consultant, Mr Umar Bari, said that improved relationships among RUWASSA, CSOs and media would improve rural WASH coverage and services in the state.
Bari explained that the objective of the meeting was to explore how best to strengthen partnership among various stakeholders to improve WASH services in rural communities.
“This is in line with the objective of the programme which is to strengthen partnership across rural WASH sub-sector, to ensure federal government work with the state government towards achieving SDGs.
“We strongly feel that RUWASSA should not be left alone to deliver the programme; there is the need for CSOs to help strengthen policy advocacy and accountability in the WASH sector.
“There is also the need for the media to help create the needed awareness and community mobilization to ensure a robust community participation in the programme,” he said.
Mr Haliru Birninyero, Deputy Director Sanitation, Kaduna RUWASSA, said that the programme began with two LGAs namely Giwa and Kachia, adding that plans have been concluded to scale up to additional three LGAs.
On his part, Rev. Kuzasuwat Peter, State Coordinator, Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) welcomed the development, describing partnership with stakeholders as “key” to the success of the programme.
Peter said that the organisation was ready to partner with Kaduna RUWASSA in ensuring the goal of the programme was achieved.