The National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS), has declared Katagum Local Government Area in Bauchi Open Defecation Free (ODF), after meeting all requirements as stipulated in the revised protocol.
At the monthly meeting of the NTGS In Abuja, Chairman of the group, Mrs Elizabeth Ugoh, said this feat was in line with the “Ending Open Defecation Target of the Federal Government by 2025”.
She said the validation exercise was carried out, following request from the state, saying currently, a total of 105 LGAs now have its population free from defecating in the open in the country.
NTGS members unanimously agreed that Katagum became ODF, after the report of the validation exercise was presented with observations and recommendations for sustainability of progress made.
Part of the recommendations given for ODF sustainability include the need for establishing of relationships between project implementers and traditional rulers for effective implementation and ownership.
NaijaEnvironment reports that before attaining the ODF status, communities would have eliminated open defecation and imbibed total sanitation practices, which include personal, environmental and domestic hygiene.
The communities would have also had 100 per cent toilet use and increased ownership and sustainability of hygiene and sanitation services.
Ugoh, who is also the Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, said the state must ensure that funding was made available to carry out monitoring for sustainability of progress made.
“After consideration of the Validation Report presented by the Team, the NTGS today 31st August 2023 declare Katagum LGA of Bauchi State Open Defecation Free after fulfilling the requirements in line with the National ODF Protocol”.
She said the renaming of the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, had brought the issues of sanitation to the front burner, adding that strategic plans of the ministry would be prioritised.
“We want to commend the Federal Government for renaming this ministry to reflect the sanitation aspect in strategic issues, more attention will be given to sanitation in the areas of faecal sludge management and excreta management.
“We are hopeful that with more funding in this sector, we will be able to change the narrative”.
Recall that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation had reiterated commitment toward ending open defecation in the country by introducing a pledge card.
The Pledge Card is a commitment booklet which was prepared during the flag- off of the campaign to end open defecation in Nigeria to be signed by the Chief Executives of both the Federal and State Governments.
This signifies their readiness to give political and financial support towards meeting the target of ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.