Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has taken the campaign against open defecation to the grassroots to eradicate it across the state.
The Governor, represented by the State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon.Usman Yunusa Lade, enjoined the traditional rulers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to join hands with the state government to put an end to open defecation in the state.
The Governor stated this on the occasion of the official flag-off of the stakeholder engagement meeting organized by the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) held at Iloffa Secretariat of Oke-Ero Local Government Area.
AbdulRazaq called on the stakeholders to join hands with the state government on this noble vision, adding that the state government cannot do it alone.
“Open defecation is not just a matter of sanitation; it’s a matter of public health, dignity, and human rights. It is a challenge that we must confront head-on. In our pursuit of a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous Kwara State, this stakeholder engagement meeting is a pivotal step forward”.
He assured the public of the state government’s resolve to provide the necessary resources, support, and policies to make this enviable vision a reality.
In her address at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Christiana Omolola Asonibare, commended the organizers of the program for creating an enabling environment to engage the critical stakeholders in the best way possible to sensitize the public.
The Permanent Secretary implored the traditional rulers, community leaders other major stakeholders especially the Transition Implementation Chairmen (TIC) of the local government areas to help educate and enlighten the people at the grassroots to create awareness for its success.
In his welcome address, the Transition Implementation Chairman of Oke-Ero Local Government Area,
Engr. Gbenga Victor Yusuf said that forty-eight million Nigerians are still practicing open defecation with ninety-five million who are without access to basic sanitation services and facilities in the country.
He pledged to organize a similar campaign program for the people in his Local Government as a means of reaching out to the grassroots.
Speaking at the occasion, the General Manager of the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Ilorin Mr. Olorunfemi Oladipo Adewumi, described open defecation as a grave public health issue, not only in our state but across the entire globe.
The General Manager emphasized that the present administration of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has shown the state’s commitment to eradicating open defecation and providing a safe and clean water supply.
Mr. Adewumi said that water is a fundamental human right, and its provision is at the core of this administration’s mandate.
He pledged to carry the campaign to the rest part of the state for people to be more sensitized.