The Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), has solicited support from the Nigerian Governors Forum ( NGF) toward enhancing the implementation of water and sanitation at the states level in the country.
Benson Attah, the NEWSAN National Coordinator made the call when he lead a delegation on a courtesy visit to the office of the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum in Abuja.
“We are here to solicit your support toward enhancing the implementation of water and sanitation in the country, particularly at the state levels.
“We want to appeal to you to use your good office to appeal to other governors to support water and sanitation in the country.
“It is well known fact that most of the health and developmental challenges that we have in the country is lack of intervention fund in the sector.
“And this particularly affects more of women and children and also girls in their education.
“Putting all these together, you will see that it affects development of the family and the citizens as a whole.
“We know the various state governments have other priorities but we want to appeal to you to use your good office to engage your fellow governors to prioritised water and sanitation.
“We want them to also be on the driving seat in the drive to ensure improved water and sanitation,” he said.
He also called on the governors to provide appropriate laws and policies for private sector intervention in the WASH sector in the state.
He however urged them to also provide toilet facilities for schools in their states and show special concern for the girl -child by providing Menstrual Hygiene Friendly toilet for girls.
“Increase the involvement of NGOs/CSOs in the delivery of WASH services, particularly in the rural areas for sustainability.
“Ensure the provision of toilet facilities in public institutions and public places and create facilities at stop stations/transit points across the states, among others,” he said.
“Attah also called on the state governments to give attention to water and sanitation in their states, while ensuring that water and sanitation budget lines are consistently increased annually to reach a minimum of 0.5 per cent of the GDP by 2020 and beyond.
He also appealed to the state governments to release fund for water and sanitation services and accelerate the implementation of Open Defecation Roadmap in all the states.
He further called on them to honour bilateral agreements entered into with development partners.
He however noted that across the country, most of the interventions entered in the water and sanitation sector was driven by development partners.
He noted that incidentally, some state governors entered into agreement with development partners and reneged on the agreement that led to some development partners pulling out of such interventions and which in turn affected the health and wellbeing of the citizens.
“So, we are again appealing to you to use your good position to appeal to your colleagues to ensure that they honour whatever agreement they entered,” Attah said.
The NGF Chairman, Mr Kayode Fayemi commended them for taking the lead in ensuring that state governors keyed into the WASH sector.
“This is a very important aspect of our work in our various states and I do not see governors not showing in interest.
“The campaign for Urban Water Supply has actually helped to improve sanitation which has been known for some time and I know we are doing a lot with the Ministry of Water Resources and the WASH programme to address the issues.
“I am glad that you have taken it up as civil society actors to hold our feet high as the elected representatives of the people and I will urge you to continue to do that with commitment on your path.
“We will study what you have presented to us, the NGF Secretariat is always ready to cooperate and collaborate with other critical stakeholders in the sectors where we work and we will be delighted to work with you,” he said.
NEWSAN is made up over 300 organisations across the six geopolitical zones of the country with aim to coordinate effective WASH service delivery.