By Hudu Yakubu, Abuja
The Minister of State, Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has given assurance that the FCT Administration would work closely with the six Area Councils and other Agencies of Government to scale-up commitment in addressing challenges of water supply, sanitation and hygiene in rural communities.
The Minister described as worrisome the last assessment carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with UNICEF, stating that 50 percent of Abuja residents defecate in the open.
Aliyu stated this in Abuja Nigeria’s capital during an inspection tour of facilities in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT.
She also commended the FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) for the construction of 2 Nos block of VIP toilet at Tunga Maje secondary school of the FCT.
The Minister used the occasion to declare that the present rating as unacceptable, giving assurance that the FCT Administration is determined to change the narratives.
Sanitation and hygiene
Aliyu reiterated that the provision of potable water supply, adequate sanitation and hygiene are primarily the responsibilities of states and local governments.
She stressed that if the respective authorities fail to resolve this ambiguous menace, the target to end open defecation in the nation’s capital on or before 2025 may be unrealistic.
According to her, “It is important to emphasise that the provision of potable water supply, adequate sanitation and hygiene are primarily the responsibilities of States and Local Governments or Area Councils as in the case of FCT.
“Let me state unequivocally that if the respective authorities (States and Local Governments) fail to resolve this ambiguous menace, the target to end open defeacation in the nation’s capital may be unrealistic.
“It saddens my heart to note that currently 102, 000 children die annually due to diseases related to sanitation. We must join hands to address this menace.
“More worrisome is the fact that the last assessment carried out in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and UNICEF, 50 percent of Abuja residents defecate in the open. This is unacceptable and we are determine to change the narratives.
“Henceforth, the FCT Administration will work closely with the six Area Councils and other Agencies of Government to scale-up commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan to end open defecation”.
The Minister expressed concern over the state of the automated abattoir under construction in Tunga Maje of Gwagwalada Area Council, just as she charged the contractor to speed up progress of work.
She assured the contractor handling the project that the FCT Administration will resolve some ambiguities surrounding the access road with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.