WaterAid an international organisation whose mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and the most marginalised has called on the Federal Government to create more awareness in the area of sanitation and access to clean and safe water just as it stated that the 2015 UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report showed that Nigeria has recorded practically no progress in the area of sanitation and hygiene in the last 25 years.
The Country Representative of WaterAid Nigeria, Dr. Michael Ojo stated this while addressing journalists at the presentation of cheques and award ceremony to schools that participated in the ‘Raise A Hand For Hygiene’ proposal writing in Abuja on Tuesday. According to Ojo, the overall aim of WaterAid is to promote and secure poor people’s rights and access to safe water, basic sanitation and improved hygiene (WASH) while advocating for the essential role of WASH as a basic need in human development.
“Since 1990, only 9 per cent of Nigerians have gained access to improved sanitation and only an estimated 12 per cent of the population have a hand washing facility with soap and water at home. Similarly, around 68,000 children under the age of 5 die from diseases caused by the nation’s poor levels of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. This clearly shows the need to escalate and push sanitation and hygiene interventions and promotion up the development agenda,” Ojo stated.
The hygiene proposal writing competition was organised to encourage the students to be able to identify social issues within their community, and to support the students to become hygiene champions and agents of change in their schools and communities.
The highlights of the occasion was the presentation of cheques of N75,000 each to three selected schools whose entries passed through rigorous evaluation in collaboration with the National Task Group on Sanitation with support from Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB). The schools are Junior Secondary Model School, Maitama, Junior Secondary School, Zuba and Junior Secondary School, Kado Kuchi.