Participants at the second national retreat for states on the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign”, have stressed the need to fast-track actions that would accelerate progress towards the attainment of Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Nigeria by 2025.
They also stressed the need to re-think the effectiveness of current approaches and strategies for delivering national sanitation targets; and for Nigeria to move beyond containment to safely manage sanitation, as well as harness different opportunities for fundraising and resource mobilisation.
This position was contained in a communique issued at the end of the retreat which held from February 23 to 14, 2023, in Abuja with the theme: “Sustaining the Gains of Improved Sanitation Towards an ODF Nigeria”, with 127 participants drawn from state RUWASSA’s and that of the FCT.
Development partners are WaterAid, NEWSAN, UNICEF, OPS-WASH, Youth WASH Africa, Lixil-SATO and ALGON. Others include representatives from Federal Ministries of Education; Environment; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the press.
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According to the communique, since the inception of the Clean Nigeria Campaign, some of the challenges identified that may deter the success are as follows: low political will at sub-national level; low prioritisation; poor capacity; inadequate funding, poor private sector support and poor partnership and collaboration.
The communique reads in part: “After two days of deliberations at plenary and technical sessions, the following key resolutions were arrived at and their implementation strategies: ODF drive through Clean Nigeria Campaign should move beyond containment to safely managed sanitation with consideration for urban areas; and states should intensify efforts and rethink their implementation strategies by adopting context specific approaches towards achieving ODF status.
“States should review or develop WASH related policies in line with the SDGS 6 Target, expanded and multifaceted partnerships at sub-national level are required to contribute to fast tracking progress and sustaining results towards meeting the SDG -6 in Nigeria.
“States should explore and harness funding for sanitation via organised private sector, philanthropists, indigenes in the diaspora, and states should harness opportunities available in the sanitation economy within their jurisdiction through engagement with relevant stakeholders like the private sector and financial institutions.
“CNCS/states should leverage on religious/traditional institutions and other notable personalities in driving the campaign to end open defecation.
“States should harness the innovation and the potentials available within the youth in contributing to WASH service delivery.
“OPS-WASH committed to adopt 100 LGAs to attain ODF status across the country between 2023 and 2024.”