Anambra ending open defecation

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Anambra State Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team is reaching out to federal ministries and development partners to support the state in her desire to eradicate open defecation and its associated problems. The Government nominated three (3) senior officers from the state to reach out to Ministries of Water Resources, Environment, and Budget & National Planning. At these establishments, the team made presentations which focused on the Anambra Development Blueprint; the giant strides of Governor Obiano; the new investment climate in the state; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Policy and Law; and the Open Defecation Free Roadmap among others.

At the Ministry of Budget & National Planning, the team was received by the Minister of State for Budget & National Planning. At the Ministry of Environment, the team met with the Minister and Minister of state for Environment. The team congratulated the Minister on her appointment as the Chair of the WSSCC based in Geneva and appealed that Anambra should be considered for support with the on-going Rural Sanitation & Hygiene Improvement in Nigeria (RUSHPIN). The team also discussed about the Open Defecation Roadmap, safe environment and hygiene issues of Anambra State. At the Ministry of Water Resources, the team meet with the Directors Water Supply, Planning, Research & Statistics and Water Quality and Sanitation.

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The team also met with Islamic Development Bank. Other development partners met include the European Union, WaterAid, Save the Children, African Development Bank among others. All the organizations met commended the initiatives and promised to support Anambra state to achieve her objectives.

The day 18th of October 2016 will be remembered in the history of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector as Anambra State launched an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap with the aim of ending open defecation in the state. The development process of the Roadmap which was supported by UNICEF started in 2014. The validation of the roadmap was completed in October 2016.

Earlier in 2013, the National Council on Water Resources approved the commitment of Nigeria to attain nationwide Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by 2025, and that States, LGAs and Communities should embrace the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach and commit funds towards its achievement. The UN is leading a Global Campaign to end open defecation by 2030. The Anambra Roadmap to end open defecation is therefore timely based on Resolution 8 of 2013 National Council on Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Water Resources requested for technical support from UNICEF Nigeria to develop the National Roadmap for elimination of open defecation in the country by 2025.

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The Roadmap defines the roles and responsibilities of the sector agencies and the communities. To finance the Roadmap, households will spend about N22b:  or N2.4b per year while Government/PPP/Other Partners will spend about N10b or N1b Billion per year.

All hands are on deck to ensure the 2025 targets are met. There are about 1,600 communities in the state; 663 have been triggered, with 272 already achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. The Country Director of Concern Universal shared the experience of Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Programme in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) being implemented in Benue and Cross River states.

The newly crowned WASH Ambassador for the state, Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano called on everyone in the state, the federal government and development partners to support the achievement of the targets in the roadmap.