By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government has assured communities benefiting from the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH), of more projects if they can adequately maintain the facilities that will be provided for them.
Environmental Safeguard Officer, Kaduna State Programme Implementation Unit (SPIU), Halima Uba, gave the assurance at the weekend, when she led a team from SURWASH programme to Juji community in Kakau Ward of Chikun Local Government Area, to sensitize them about the water project coming to their community.
The team also visited Karatudu Gabas and Ungwan Madami all in Chikun LGA.
She emphasized that for the project to be sustained, there’s need for each benefiting community to take full ownership and ensure adequate maintenance.
SURWASH is a World Bank supported program for Nigeria towards achieving the goal of ensuring all Nigerians have access to sustainable and safely managed WASH services as enshrined in the National Action Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The programme breaks with prior infrastructure-centric projects by introducing a result-based approach that simultaneously incentivizes establishing and operationalising key policies, regulations, and institutional reforms required for improved sector performance alongside necessary infrastructure construction and rehabilitation.
The development objective of the Program is to increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and to strengthen sector institutions in 2 result areas in the seven participating states of Nigeria (Kaduna, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Katsina, Plateau).
The strategy aims to ensure that all Nigerians have access to sustainable and safely managed WASH services by 2030, in compliance with the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6.1 for water and 6-2 for sanitation.
According to Halima, the program is being piloted in 15 communities within 6 LGAs of Chikun, Igabi, Jaba, Jema’a, Sabon, Gari and Soba in Kaduna State.
She noted that the state government is very much interested in making sure every community enjoys social amenities, adding that the project will provide them with quality water.
She advised that when the facilities is provided, they should ensure that toilets and dustbins are not built or sited close to it because it could be contaminated.
The Safeguard Officer, also charged them to secure the facilities and ensure it is well protected, adding that children should not be allowed to play with the facilities.
According to her, the program is counting on each community to provide space where the facilities will be sited and that they are expected to supervise and provide security for the workers that are coming to mount the facilities.
Reacting to the submissions by their visitors, Village Head of Juji, Mr. Bitrus Samari, appreciated the team from SURWASH, and assured them of the community’s full commitment to the project.
He said community will meet and agree on the best location for the project.
He thanked the state government for chosing their community to be part of the pilot, pleading with the government to keep to it’s promise of siting the project in their community.
No fewer than 6,100,000 people are expected to gain access to basic drinking water services under this program, 1,400,000 people provided with access to improved sanitation services. 500 communities to get verified of Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 2,000 schools and Health Care Facilities to get improved WASH service.