The federal government’s overall strategy and vehicle for investment and sector reforms to attain the SDGs for water supply, sanitation and hygiene WASH is to ensure that all Nigerians have access to sustainable and safely-managed WASH services by 2030.
The programme, which targets rural, small town and urban water supply, is in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Water (Goal 6.1) and Sanitation (Goal 6.2).
Thus, the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) Gombe State aims to strengthen access to Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in the state and Nigeria at large and it is designed to also support the implementation of the National Action Plan for the revitalisation of the Nigeria WASH sector which Gombe State as one of the seven states that keyed into the programme.
The six years innovative project, made possible through a financial state-led loan intervention initiated by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, in collaboration with the World Bank, is in Gombe to assist the state by ensuring that all its people have access to sustainable and safely-managed WASH services and will also support the state to end the menace of open defecation which is the major cause of the outbreak of diseases.
This informs the need for relevant and critical stakeholders such as local government chairmen of all the 11 LGAs, traditional rulers and the general public to also key in and ensure the successful implementation of the programme.
The SURWASH programme is also in Gombe to assist the state in managing and complementing its existing system as the programme considered the line ministries as its implementing agencies.
They include Gombe State Water Board, which is responsible for the implementation of Urban Water Supply projects, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) responsible for the implementation of rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene projects and Gombe State Environmental Sanitation and Protection Agency (GOSEPA) which is equally responsible for the implementation of urban and small town’s sanitation projects.
Happily, all stakeholders, during a recent sensitisation exercise by the SURWASH Project Implementation Unit, which also included the presentations of SURWASH IEC materials, expressed appreciation to the SURWASH Gombe SPIU for visiting their respective places for this very important exercise which, according to them, is timely considering the shortage of water and lack of toilet facilities in all their communities, and expressed readiness to support SURWASH in whatever way.
Engr. Usman Abubakar Aliyu, Project, Coordinator, Gombe State SURWASH