A’Ibom Encouraged By CSO To Adopt Water, Sanitation Policies

The African Human Development Centre, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development, is calling on the Akwa Ibom State Government to authorize a comprehensive plan for Water and Sanitation Hygiene Policies, enforce water regulations, and implement strategies to address open defecation.

In a statement to journalists in Uyo, Prof. Gabriel Umoh, CEO of the African Human Development Centre, highlighted the critical importance of implementing the Water Law, approving a Policy framework, and attaining an Open Defecation Free Roadmap for the sustainable advancement of Akwa Ibom State.

Umoh stressed that sanctioning the WASH Framework could pave the way for sustainable progress, enhanced living standards, and a cleaner environment for the inhabitants of Akwa Ibom State.

Encouraging proactive measures, the Civil Society Organisation appealed to all state government officials, along with Governor Pastor Umo Eno, to implement Executive Order 009 from the Federal Government, which mandates the cessation of open defecation across all sectors by 2025.

“We are here to support the Akwa Ibom state government to reform the WASH sector. Water and Sanitation Hygiene have numerous impacts on all facets of life, including health, education, agriculture, etc. The United States Agency for International Development has provided the content for us to work to reform the WASH sector in the state.

“So we started the practical implementation of the project in February 2002, our objective is to create awareness about the Water and sanitation hygiene situation of Akwa Ibom state, push for development and approval of WASH policy M&E framework by state executive council, and also get the council to approve the ODF Roadmap because we can’t continue to work without accessing our selves to know if we are doing well on the nature of our intervention.

“Recall that the former President of Nigeria His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 signed into law Executive Order 009, mandating all sectors in Nigeria to be open defecation free by 2025, so one of our objectives is to ensure that Akwa Ibom is open defecation free Roadmap by 2025 which is a nine months timeline from now.

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“We urge the Ministry of Water Resources and other ministries related to the WASH activities and MDAs like Akwa Ibom Water Company Ltd, AKRUWATSAN, Ministry of Land, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Education etc to join hands to ensure we achieve this goal.

“Recall that the immediate past state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, had passed the water bill into Law on 30th December 2022, so all we are seeking is implementation of the law to be approved by the state council.

“Akwa Ibom State WASH Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, the State ODF Roadmap are necessary supporting documents to give effect to the Implementation of the Water Law.

“And the approval of these important documents is crucial and we want to use this opportunity to call on the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council to give approval to these documents without further delay.

They also expressed their desire for the state Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to exert enough effort to persuade the State Executive to endorse the documents.

Africa Today News, New York

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