From BEATRICE GONDYI, Bauchi
Bauchi State Government have been called upon to improve access to good water, promote sanitation and hygiene across communities in the state.
The call was made by Bauchi State chapter of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Media Network in order to curtail the prevalence of diseases caused by lack of good water, sanitation and hygiene,
declaring that the promotion of WASH issues in the cannot be overemphasised considering its importance to the people.
This was disclosed by the secretary of the Network, Malam Ahmed Kaigama at the end of a media community tour of Bauchi Metropolis and Kirfi local Government supported by WaterAid Nigeria implemented by Network Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) Bauchi state.
The Secretary decried the lack of access to safe, clean drinking and basic sanitation, as well as poor hygiene which is a cause nearly 90% of all deaths emanating from diarrhoea saying, “Most of our rural communities still defecate in the open, and handwashing with soap is practised, on average,”.
Ahmed Kaigama added that “Diarrhoea, most often results from the ingestion of pathogens from faeces that have not been disposed of properly, or from the lack of hygiene. A person is classified as having diarrhoea when she or he experiences more than three liquid stools per day,”.
He also noted that hygiene education can address a number of negative practices, including non-hand washing after toilet use and before the preparation of food because according to him, “behavioural factors are important in determining the uptake and sustainable adoption of water, sanitation and hygiene practices”.
“While water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are potentially highly efficient, their effectiveness in part depends on behaviour change and context,” Ahmed Kaigama said.
He called on the government to improve rural water supply and create good sanitation environment by providing toilet facilities in public places to discourage people from defecating in open places.
He also urged the citizens to demand the provision of sustainable clean water, because is a right for citizens to make such demands.
Ahmed Kaigama also lamented the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the metropolis that pose a threat to rampant communicable diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria among others.
He, however, commended the state government efforts in providing dumping site across the state capital and constant evacuation of the refuse and advised that government should step up the sanitation activities and policies to provide a conducive and disease-free environment in the state.
A villager, Malam Sani Bulakon Gani lamented over the lack of access to water in the community, according to him, “we have only two sources of drinking water well and hand pump which has even stop working”.
He then appealed to the government to come to the aid of the community and provide potable water to save the community from drinking contaminated water.
Yahaya Abubakar Sulaiman of Ganjuwa Community in Bauchi Metropolis commended the present administration for clearing the refuse in the area saying, “Before then this place you see would always field up with heaps of refuse but the present government will every day evacuate the refuse”.
He added that “It was a terrible situation we have been experiencing in this place especially during the rainy season but the authorities are doing their best in terms of to improve access.