By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
A Bauchi based coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) has revealed that a number of 3.9million citizens of the state lack access to a combined Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.
Executive Directors Forum Chairman of the CSOs, Mr. Chindo Sodangi dropped the organizations sufferer figure while addressing newsmen on the occasion of Global Hand washing Day, 2020 at the Bauchi state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Sodangi, using statistics obtained in 2019, said the problem has negatively impacted on health and education of the people in the state, as it contributed to the spread of contagious diseases such as Cholera and COVID-19.
He explained that clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, together, form the foundation that underpins almost all of the sustainable development goals.
“Despite the fact that great percentage of household access water wells and water vendors which are vulnerable to contamination, only 15 percent households treat their water before drinking while 84.7 percent do not carry out any form of treatment”.
According to him, Cholera remains a global threat to public health, stressing that it is an indicator of inequality and lack of social development.
Sodangi added, “The disease is endemic across many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with large outbreaks occurring regularly in areas characterized by poverty, marginalization and poor access to WASH”.
Mr. Chindo Sodangi disclosed that Nigeria is accounting for a large proportion of the cholera burden in the sub-Saharan region.
“The disease is prevalent and seasonal, occurring mostly during the rainy season and more often in areas that lack clean water and sanitation. The disease is primarily link to insufficient access to safe, clean water supplies, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene and sanitation”.
He further revealed that 77 percent of households in Bauchi uses traditional pit toilet, 13.5 percent uses pour flush, 3.4 have none, 3.6 percent have closet while ventilated pit accounts for 0.75 percent.
Sodangi also disclosed that about 71.7 percent of the toilets do not have hand washing facilities with soap.
He stated that the recurrent outbreaks of cholera in Bauchi is largely attributed to indiscriminate waste disposal, inadequate clean water supply within Bauchi metropolis and its environs as well as poor hygiene practices.
Chindo Sodangi also said that the provision of safe water and sanitation among other things, is critical to controlling the transmission of cholera and other endemic and waterborne diseases.
Others, he noted, include scaling up clean family campaign across 20 local government areas of the state, domestication of WASH COVID-19 guidelines, implementation of the revised WASH policy and state WASH action plan.