By EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with UNICEF have ended a two day workshop on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and media practitioners in Calabar.
Participants at the workshop, according to the organizers were drawn from four pilot states which included Plateau, Jigawa, Bauchi and host Cross River State.
The WASH program is aimed at reducing the spread of preventable waterborne diseases.
Access to WASH, in particular safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education, can reduce illness and death, and also affect poverty reduction and socio-economic development.
At the workshop, the facilitators identified CSOs and the media as key stakeholders in the WASH project, especially in the area of advocacy and public education.
WASH officer from the federal ministry of water resources, Olaiya Olabamidele, identified low budgetary provision, poor synergy as well as lack of political will as some of the challenges being faced by the program.
George Ugbong, WASH Officer, UNICEF Nigeria,
charged civil societies and media practitioners to strongly support efforts of UNICEF, federal government and other partners organizations by ensuring the WASH message is effectively passed from urban to rural dwellers as intended by the organizers of the workshop.
He charged the stakeholders to hold government and other relevant authorities accountable for abandoned WASH projects.
Lack of sanitation contributes to alot of child deaths every year due to diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea can have a negative effect on child development both physical and cognitive.
Although access to sanitation has been improving over the past decades, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that still 2.5 billion people more than one third of the global population live without basic sanitation facilities.