Gov Ugwuanyi solicits development partners cooperation in transforming WASH

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has solicited the cooperation of development partners and other stakeholders in transforming the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in the state.

Ugwuanyi made the call in Enugu, on Thursday, while inaugurating an 18-man Inter-ministerial Committee on the Implementation of WASH Action Plan in the state.

The governor said the government had declared a state of emergency on WASH sector in the state to ensure healthy living.

Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Ortuanya, said that the WASH sector had not received the needed attention in the country which had thrown up several challenges to citizens.

The governor said that the state government was committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six to ensure the provision of clean water and improve sanitation.

He said that the government had already made some move to enhance sanitation by approving the construction of abattoirs across major markets in the state.

The governor also said that the state government had equally approved the construction of public toilets in major markets.

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Responding on behalf of the committee, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Mr Anthony Dubem-Onyia, said that the committee would do its best to revitalise the water sector in the state.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had on Nov. 8, 2018, declared a state of emergency on WASH sector and came up with National Action Plan for the revitalisation of the sector throughout the country.

The inter-ministerial committee comprised representatives of the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies including Water Resources, Agriculture, Health and Justice.

Others are the Enugu State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (ENRUWASA) and Water Corporation among others.

Meanwhile, WaterAid Nigeria Acting Country Director, Ms Evelyn Mere has commended the state government for the bold step in declaring a state of emergency on the sector.

A statement by Mere on Thursday in Enugu said that the WASH sector in the state was in crisis.

She said that about 2.5 million people lack clean water in the state.

The acting country director also said that nearly 3 million do not have basic toilets and almost 2 million people defecate in the open.

“The state government identifies that the WASH sector in Enugu is in crisis and that urgent action is required for its revitalisation.

“We hope that with this declaration more attention will be focused on the sector as this is a significant step towards achieving clean water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone, everywhere by 2030.

Mere said that without water, decent sanitation and good hygiene, there could be no sustainable economic development and other SDGs cannot be achieved.

(NAN)

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