Borno budgets N8 billion to address water, hygiene in 2023: Official
The Borno State government has allocated more than N8 billion for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in its 2023 budget.
The General Manager of Borno Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Musa Ali, made this known on Tuesday in Maiduguri at an occasion on sanitation.
It was organised by Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA), in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Mr Ali said that the government in its commitment to address WASH challenges in the state, had constructed 87 solar powered boreholes and rehabilitated 169 others.
He said that the government also constructed 311 hand pumps and reactivated 300 others.
Mr Ali noted that various WASH projects involving water supply and toilets were also executed with the support of UNICEF, particularly in local government areas.
He said many communities in Shani and Biu LGAs of the state would soon attain Open Defecation Free status, urging for more collaboration with partners.
The General Manager of BOSEPA, Abubakar Suleiman, stressed the importance of WASH in attaining SDGs 6, said a safe, functional toilet, improved public health, human dignity and personal safety, particularly for women.
He noted that in Borno, only 16 per cent of the total population had access to basic sanitation, adding that the state government through its 25-year Development Framework and 10-year Strategic Plan, was working to address the situation.
He called for more support and commitment from stakeholders and partners to succeed.
The UNICEF Maiduguri WASH Manager, Mamita Thakkar, who reiterated the commitment of UN agency’s support, said lack of sanitation had negative impacts on public health, economic productivity, environmental integrity and educational attainment, particularly for girls and women who are worst affected.
Ms Thakkar said that in Nigeria, only 53 per cent of the population had access to basic sanitation facilities and only four per cent of the population had access to safely managed sanitation.
“Which means that most of the waste generated in the state is untreated and finds its way to our rivers, water bodies, and could explain the endemic cholera situation.
“Safely managed and properly sited sanitation protects human and ground water from pathogens in faecal waste.
“A safe and sustainable sanitation system begins with a toilet that effectively captures human waste in a safe, accessible and dignified setting,” Ms Thakkar said.
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“Why should somebody from the university system come and midwife over a different system and become lords over them?”
“I led a four-member committee to the National Assembly. We were first attended to by the House of Representatives, where we successfully presented our case.”
“We will definitely sweep out PDP, the sinking party from the state.”