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FG, UNICEF supply clean water to 1m rural dwellers

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FG, UNICEF supply clean water to 1m rural dwellers

The Federal Government has executed viable projects to enhance access to portable water to 997,000 persons in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

The project is being implemented in collaboration between the Federal Government, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of the Netherlands.

The programme also aims to improve health, nutrition and wellbeing of vulnerable persons, especially women and girls in rural areas.

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Mr Jonathan Ekhato, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist of the UNICEF, stated this at the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) – Acceleration to Sanitation and Water for All (ASWA) II programme, and Local Plan meeting, in Gombe on Thursday.

He said the intervention yielded positive results in six local government areas of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

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Ekhato listed the benefiting communities to include Guyuk; Jada, Magumeri, Biu, Geidam and Fune, adding that about 880,000 persons had stopped open defecation practices and adopted the use of safe and hygienic toilet facilities in the communities.

According to him, Biu, Guyuk, and Jada are being declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the National Task Group (NTGS).

This, he said, reduced outbreak of waterborne diseases, adding that the programme constructed 500 new water points and rehabilitated 1,000 others while 54 schools and 38 healthcare facilities accessed basic WASH services.

Also speaking, Dr Nicholas Dumebi, Director Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, emphasised the need for sustainability plan to build on the gains achievec.

Represented by Mr Ogbonna Kenbeth, he said that 46 per cent of WASH facilities were unsustainable posing a challenge to government’s efforts.

“When we started the programme in 2019, there was a sustainability plan developed like an agreement to sustain the facilities.

“And today, we are developing a sustainability action plan to leverage on that because in Nigeria sustainability is a big issue,” he said.

The UNICEF WASH Manager, Chiranjibi Tiwari, also emphasised the importance of water accessibility, sustainability and local investment plans to ensure continued benefits to the communities.

According to him, the ministry is partnering with the UNICEF to improve livelihood across the country.

The Emir Jajete in Yobe, Alhaji Hamza Buba, lauded the project, adding that it was a great achievement for the benefitting communities.

“Access to clean water improved the lives of rural dwellers,” he said.

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