How We Invest In Farming To Maintain WASH Facilities – Kaduna Community

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By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna

Uguwan Saro, a Community in Hunkuyi Ward of Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State last Wednesday, revealed how they were able to sustain Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), facilities in their community for four years.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), with funding support from UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), now FCDO, under the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN II) programme, provided the community with WASH facilities  such as borehole, toilets, hand washing facilities as well as measures to keep their community clean.

The SHAWN II programme was UNICEF’s major strategy to help Nigeria attain Open Defecation Free (ODF), status before 2025.

On Wednesday, UNICEF Nigeria, Chief of WASH, Dr. Jane Bivan, paid an assessment visit to Kaduna  State, where she met with different stakeholders in Igabi and Kudan LGAs.

During an interaction with WASH Committee at Saro community, on how they were able to sustain projects within their area, the committee Secretary, Muawiyah Jafar, disclosed that every year, they invest into farming and use the proceeds to maintain the facilities.

According to him, “since inception we agreed on a levy of N20 weekly per household within the community and N500 monthly for those who are directly connected to the water tank.

“This way, we were able to raise some money and we invested it into farming of rice and maize and every year, we continue to reinvest the profits back to farming and keep some for the maintenance of the facilities.”

Muawiyah, added that since the SHAWN II project was introduced to their community a lot of things have changed, as the rate of illnesses has drastically reduced, thanking UNICEF and other partners for making water available in their community and also supporting them to make their community clean.

The Chief of WASH, at the end of her tour, commended the various communities and stakeholders for their sense of hygiene and how they were able to keep the facilities after a long time.

“Am really impressed with the level of sanitation and hygiene in this LGA. From what I have seen and what I have heard from the commitment of the committees, the Chairman, and the local leaders, the coverage is really high.

“Everybody has toilets, it’s fantastic that this LGA is open defecation free, now we really need to keep up the momentum to make sure we maintain this and ensure it doesn’t fall back. We can promote the coverage that happened in this LGA to every other LGAs so that we can promote sanitation across the state.” She said.

Dr. Bivan, noted that the idea of investing into farming to sustain the WASH projects is fantastic, but however advised them to also use part of their fund to expand water access by connecting more households to the water source.

District Head of Hunkuyi, Haliru Mahmoud, appreciated UNICEF and RUWASSA, for the support they gave that enabled them to be able to educate and sensitive their people on the dangers open defecation and benefits of good hygiene.

During the visit, the Chief of WASH, along with Director General, RUWASSA, met with Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Kudan LGA Chairman and his cabinet, District Heads of Hunkuyi, Leader of Kyaudai Community in Sabo Gari Ward, WASHCOMs, Community Volunteers Hygiene Promoters (CVHP),  Toilet Business Owners (TBOs), of both Ugwan Saro and Kyaudai communities.

She also visited the In-charges of Mando and Rigachikun, Primary Health Centres as well as held a meeting with WASH stakeholders in the state.

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