Group says WASH plans, budgets, coordination mandatory to end Cholera
By Tosin Kolade
Kebbi, Feb. 8, 2019 (NNN) State governments must have Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) plans and budget allocations to meet emergency needs and coordination, the WASH in Emergency Working Group says.
The Representative of the group, Mr Ibiyemi Olu-Daniels, made this call at a WASH in Emergency Working Group Monitoring and Assessment visit on Cholera affected sites in Kebbi.
He said that cholera prevalence in Nigeria could be achieved with sustained pressure and coordination to see that all stakeholders have their roles to play timely to forestall further spread.
According to him, emergency response plan and coordination will go a long way to fast track humanitarian response to improve lives of displaced persons.
He said that with an available budget line on WASH, it would be used to provide assistance immediately and not wait for bureaucratic delays from state governments.
He urged state water boards to rise up to their responsibilities by ensuring that wholesome water was being given to the populace, saying consuming poor water and contaminated foods was a leading cause for cholera.
Olu-Daniels, who is the Deputy Director, WASH Response, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, noted that water boards must adhere to the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality to promote access to potable water.
He stressed that state governments should key into the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme of the Federal Government to ensure that through sector collaboration, all stakeholders make access to potable water and sanitation a priority.
Mr Williams Ngwakwe, the Society for Water and Sanitation, said that the state government needed to report Cholera cases early to enable timely response and coordinate speedy intervention.
He said that early report would not show the state in a bad light, but would also help to increase support for overall benefit of affected communities and society.
Mrs Chinyere Ambrose-Nnaji, a team member, said there that more support for host communities for IDPs was needed, saying facilities were being overstretched, especially on water and sanitation.
She said that state governments ought to effectively coordinate and not rely on donor supports always.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the WASH in Emergency Working Group was established in 2012 when the country experienced serious devastating flood that affected 85milion people from 14 states.
The group has since remained active, especially in the North-East where IDPs exist and have responded immediately to outbreaks.
The group membership cuts across WASH sector players from Institutions, Development Partners, International and Local NGOs, CSOs responding to WASH issues in the North East, with UNICEF as its co-lead. (NNN)
Edited by Grace Yussuf